Market News March 1, 2010

The market is finding stability

The last decade has been a wild ride for homeowners, real estate professionals and most balance sheets.  It’s been 10 years of boom and bust starting with technology, ending with housing and not much time in between. What the housing market hasn’t seen in a while is stability.  Based on some numbers released this week it looks like the housing market has found stability.

The Case-Shiller* 20-city home price index reports that prices are down 30% from the peak in May 2006 but are up 3% from the bottom in May 2009.  In the end of 2009 month-to-month prices fell in only five of the 20 markets in the index, rose in 14 and remained flat in one.  This trend is welcome news to both buyers and sellers who have been on the sidelines waiting for the volatility to leave the market.

If you look at the market with a wide angle lens, the overall trend has been positive for homeowners who bought at the beginning of the decade and sold at the end of the decade.  Between January 2000 and December 2009 home prices rose by 46% which is well above the rate of inflation during the same period.

*The Case-Shiller index is calculated based on the repeat sale of the same property tracked in 20 different major markets across the country.