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The median price per square foot of resale homes sold fell again in July. This metric is not as accurate as the Case-Shiller index discussed last week, but it is available two months sooner. And outside of the distortion caused by the subprime lending implosion in early 2007, the median price per square foot — aka the size-adjusted median — has been a pretty accurate predictor of the Case-Shiller index. So it’s worth looking at.

The size-adjusted median for single family homes dropped a fairly hefty 3.6 percent last month — its worst drop since February. The condo size- adjusted median, on the other hand, actually increased by 2.4 percent. But considering the drubbing inflicted upon the condo median over the last few months this rise is not so impressive. Even after the July increase, the median condo price per square foot was 9.4 percent below where it had been just three months earlier.

Combining the two property types, the overall size-adjusted median price was down by 1.6 percent for the month. It has declined by 33.0 percent since peaking in September 2005.

— RICH TOSCANO

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