In a conference call, even Robert Shiller sounded a note of optimism before backpedaling. At first saying that perhaps the bottom had arrived nationally, he then said that maybe it was too soon to know.
This latest report of the Case-Shiller indices showed an impressive 1.4 percent gain from May to June after an increase of 0.5 percent from April to May. Eighteen of the 20 metro areas surveyed went up in prices, but bear in mind that apartments are excluded.
Although the second quarter of the year had a 14.9 percent decline in prices versus the same quarter of 2008, that was a noteworthy improvement over the 19.1 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. It was the first quarter-to-quarter improvement in three years, the company said.
Case-Shiller is widely respected, but I have always had reservations about its methodology. If the numbers can be trusted, however, the bursting of the bubble does not look as devastating as generally reported and perceived, however damaging it has been. But that’s true only in comparison with last year; according to graphs in the report, prices in the U.S. are around 2003 levels.
I take the numbers as just additional data to be factored into our prognosticating and will have more from the report in my forthcoming free bi-weekly e-newsletter.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022