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C-S Home Price Indices August 2009

Is the market already on a rebound?

Is the market already on a rebound? If you’re referring to the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, then chances are you’ll be misled on how home values take their course. The 20-city composite index shows a slowing drop in prices at only 11.3 percent YoY against August 2008. The biggest losers are still Detroit, Las Vegas and Phoenix with no home value taking a plunge larger than 22 percent.

But remember how much 4Q08’s unemployment figures caused market commotion? That would reflect an entirely different picture in the reports in the coming months. The problem with the Case-Shiller figures is that it takes a two-month lag for the report to get published. Real time figures are best sourced from research firms like Altos Research .

Furthermore, we should expect the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit to create a dent in the home values as it made an “artificial” effect on prices. But once the November 30 expiration takes effect, we’ll certainly go back to the same scene.

There are also other more interactive sites that offer comparable home value rates at national levels. The Economist and the Foreign Exchange Clearing Bank LLC have their own data sets. The former uses a global comparison chart where home values in Switzerland, Australia and Belgium to name a few are included. The FECB’s chart however can only be accessed for a fee.

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