The Case Shiller report for March 2012 was released yesterday. The report is released on the last Tuesday of each months and reports for a period ending sixty days prior. “Portland” is defined as the Portland/Vancouver MSA and covers seven counties. In contrast, RMLS Market Action defines “Metro Portland” as a five county area and the report is released about 15 days after the month ends. The two reports use different methodology to come up with their stats. You really can’t compare to two to each other but have to look at one report and compare it to itself in another time period.
Portland dropped a half point to 129.01. This is the lowest post-bubble report and equates to July 2004 prices. The Index was set to 100 in January of 2000. Five of the 20 tracked areas report indexes of under 100. Washington DC remains the strongest market at 176.48.
We’re consistently hearing and seeing reports of tight inventory and low prices (and high Affordability Index reports). I expect that we’ll start to see average sales prices increase in RMLS reports over the next few months. This was true last year but the end of the year gave back all of the gains from the “summer selling season” so we have to be a little pessimistic about calling it a true beginning to a recovery until we see it. What we weren’t feeling this time last year is an inventory shortage which we seem to have now.