Posted by on March 28, 2017 4:03 pm
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Categories: Behavioral finance BLS Case-Shiller Case–Shiller index Causes of the United States housing bubble China CPI Economy Geography of the United States Housing Prices New Normal Portland, Oregon Seattle United States Department of Housing and Urban Development West Coast

In its latest, January, update of US home prices, Case-Shiller reported that the unadjusted 20 city composite index, rose at a 5.9% annual rate, up from 5.7% last month and setting a 31-month high. Perhaps even more notable is that in 17 of 20 metro areas, the pace of home appreciation over the past year was 5% or higher, or more than double the pace of core inflation. And with rents continuing to soar across the country, in many cases at a double digit clip, not to mention exploding healthcare costs, one wonders just what the BLS “measures” with its monthly CPI update.

In any case, for those lucky Americans who can afford to own a house instead of being stuck renting the New Normal American dream where they are prohibited from peddling fiction as their annual rent increases by 10% or more each year, here is the breakdown of the best and worst cities for home price appreciation in the U.S.

At the top, with annual price increases of 10% or more, we find the usual west coast (and thus closest to China) suspects: Seattle and Portland, followed close behind by Denver and Dallas, which appears to be enjoying the recent revival in shale. What is more surprising is that on the other end we find Cleveland, Washington and – of all places – New York, which was dead last with only 3.2% annual price appreciation.

Here are some more observations from Case Shiller on the top 3 cities:  Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last 12 months. In January, Seattle led the way with an 11.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 9.7%, and Denver with a 9.2% increase. Twelve cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2017 versus the year ending December 2016. 

The below charts compare year-over-year returns for Seattle and Portland with different ranges of housing prices (tiers). Tier level analysis from 2011 to present for both Seattle and Portland’s year-over-year returns show housing prices in the high tier to be the most stable, while housing prices in the low tier are the most volatile

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