Case Shiller for September 2008 continued its downward trend. The Portland index is down to 169.67 compared to August’s 171.93 and a high of 186.51 in July 2007. September’s mark is at about the same level we had in March 2006 (169.87). The index is down 9.0% from its high. The S&P500 index is down 25.2% from March 2006 – October 2008 (calculated here).
According to SFGATE:
“There wasn’t a good number in there, but these numbers don’t really
reflect what’s happening now,” said Patrick Newport, U.S. economist
with Englewood, Colo., consulting firm IHS Global Insight, noting that
the bad economic news began midway through September and has worsened
since. “We should expect really awful housing (data) for the rest of
Since May, Case-Shiller’s national monthly declines have rested
around or below 1 percent, leading some observers to speculate that the
markets were approaching a bottom several months ago. In Tuesday’s
report, the declines were 1.9 percent for the 10-city index and 1.8
percent for the 20-city index. The change isn’t large and could in part
reflect seasonal home-buying patterns, which typically slow down at the
end of summer, but isn’t good news in any case.
“The key point is we do not yet see a deceleration,” said Susan
Wachter, professor of real estate at the University of Pennsylvania’s
Wharton School of Business. “This is another historic decline and the
drivers are still pointing down.”
The October index is sure to fall further, she said. Beyond that,
the health of the housing sector will depend on how markets react to
government efforts like the $800 billion plan to loosen lending
announced Tuesday, as well as stimulus measures to come, she said.
Standard & Poor’s expects it will take at least until the middle
of next year before the housing market bottoms outs and until 2010
before prices begin to climb, Newport said.