I know I said my next piece would discuss the circumstances in which it makes sense to buy a house.  I need to stop promising that I’ll discuss something in the “next” blog entry, because often a quicker and newsier topic intervenes.

In this case that would be the latest release of the Case-Shiller index, which takes place on the last Tuesday of each month.  (Yes, I really should have seen this coming).

In any case, the overall index was down .7 percent for the final month of 2010.  The high-priced tier was also down .7 percent; the middle tier declined by 1.2 percent.  The low-priced tier actually managed a gain for its second month in a row, rising by .5 percent.

Not exactly an earthshattering month for this statistic, but there you have it.  Some graphs follow, in increasing order of duration.

Since the early-2009 price trough:

Since the late-2005 price peak:

Since the start of the decade:

And finally, since the start of the tiered Case-Shiller index data series in 1989.  This last graph is adjusted for inflation to give a better idea of price pressures over time:

Please contact Rich Toscano at rtoscano@pcasd.com and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/richtoscano.

Rich Toscano has been observing the housing market for Voice of San Diego, with the occasional prolonged absence, since 2006. Follow him on Twitter at...

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