The Case Shiller Index was released this morning for the September 2012 reporting period and for the sixth consecutive month, the Portland MSA has increased. Today’s 141.10 is the highest since November 2010 and 11.5 points above the March 2012 low. The next few months will be the most telling as we head into the winter months as we typically see a seasonal decline in the winter months. Case Shiller reports 60 days back. Here is a refresher on how Case Shiller works.
Last month’s RMLS Market Action for October was also positive with an increase in almost all metrics. We’ve started to see more movement in the higher end of the market- those houses over $300,000 where the buy pool is the biggest. Investors, first-time buyers. down-sizers and those making a lateral move all compete at lower price ranges but the pool of qualified buyers shrinks.
Seattle and Portland have always remained relatively close in the Case Shiller Index. During the 2005-2007 run-up Seattle led Portland by around 5 points. Portland took the lead and the two areas have traded back and forth for the last few years. Seattle now leads Portland by .99 of a point.
I think it is likely that we will look back to March 2012 as the bottom of the market. That’s based on the seven point drop we saw from September 2011 to March 2012 and the fact that we have a 12 point cushion right now on the March low. Time will tell and the Fiscal Cliff makes for some tough economic forecasting. Interest rates remain amazing and the media is a little less doom and gloom.