Portland’s Case Shiller Index for September 2010 took a 1.9% hit from August and is now at 144.30, May 2005 levels. The index is down 3.6% since September 2009. On a national basis the Composite 10 Index was down .5% for the month but up 1.6% in the last 12 months. The Composite 20 Index was down .7% for the month and is up .6% since September 2009. The Composite 10’s 161.25 matches December 2003 and the 20’s 147.49 lines up at about October 2003.
The Case Shiller Index has a two month lag time and uses the seven county Portland MSA area.
Some subscribe to the theory that Portland is a year late to the party. If Portland regresses another year’s worth, the Index would be 126.56. I don’t personally subscribe to that as the rapid decline has leveled off but there is reason for concern. I think there may be some up and downs but I don’t see a double digit drop from here. If we’re a year late to the party we should see a small increase in the next 12 months according to the Composites.
It highlights the importance of accurately pricing a listing. A listing today is potentially more overpriced tomorrow. In an appreciating market, the property value eventually catches the overpriced listing. In a declining market the problem is exasperated. Hypothetically, a home that was listed for $500,000 in September 2009 but would have been accurately priced at $475,000 is accurately priced at $462,175 today with no other factors taken into consideration.
Buyers are potentially looking at close to the bottom of the market but we can’t judge that until time passes and we are looking at now as the past. Portland lost 3.6% in the previous 12 months but lost 11.7% in the 12 months preceding that so the decline has slowed and even increased some months during the year.