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Case Shiller – A Rant

Here we go again with all the nonsense reporting of the Case Shiller Index, a 3 month moving average of house sale transactions that took place in November, December and January, and was reported today as representing the end of March.

Why does anyone care about the value of a moving average of transaction prices that occurred, on average, five and a half months ago? Do you care about the 60 day moving average of the S&P 500 from mid December, now? Do you pretend that it’s the current value of the stock market? Then stop pretending that Case Shiller represents the value of the US housing market.

“Analysts” who focus on Case Shiller need to grow up and stop pretending that they know how to analyze real estate trends. There are multiple more timely measures showing recent prices higher than year ago levels, so this bump isn’t just seasonal. Furthermore, there are real time listing price measures right up to the minute, that have consistently been reliable predictors of the lagging historic sales data that show prices up from last year right now, continuing the trend of more recent sales measures.

Does that mean that prices must go higher? No. But lets start with some facts, instead of ancient historic data that pretends to represent the present. That is pure nonsense.

Home Prices - Click to enlarge

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