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Kelly Bennett has written extensively on the September release of the Case-Shiller home price index, so I’m just going to throw a couple extra charts into the mix. OK, and one comment (I just can’t help myself).

I’ll begin with the charts. First, here is a table showing the last time the Case-Shiller index value for each price tier was lower than September’s level. The right-hand column is the same thing but with prices adjusted to remove the effects of inflation.

Next up is the familiar chart showing each tier’s decline from its respective peak:

This longer term chart, beginning with the earliest available series data in 1989, shows that the low-priced tier’s swan dive was preceeded by a commensurately large increase (the same is true to a lesser extent for the mid-priced tier):

The next two charts are just like the prior two except that they adjust the price indexes to account for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. This tells us more or less how much home prices have changed in comparison to everything else:

The threatened comment consists of my near-monthly reminder that the Case-Shiller index is very lagging. The latest data point is calculated based on home sales that closed in July, August, and September, with the escrow period typically beginning at least a month before that.

Where financial markets are concerned, that seems like an eternity ago. Whatever impact the recent market and economic turmoil has had on the housing market will not even begin to show up in the Case-Shiller index releases for a couple of months yet.

— RICH TOSCANO

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