What to expect in tomorrow’s S&P/Case-Shiller August ’09 Numbers

October 26, 2009

by Scott Sambucci


Tomorrow is the last Tuesday of the month, which for those of us watching the US housing market, means that the August 2009 values S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index get released. While the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a steady rise from May to July 2009 and a 1.6% rise from June to July, our data is showing that rise will be stemmed a bit from July to August.  Ask prices fell from August to September and the price of new listings dropped considerably as well.  These point to a more negative report coming out tomorrow in our estimation.

Here’s what we’re seeing in our data:

  • From our October 2009 Real-time Housing Report, The Altos Research 10-City Composite Index was down by 0.5% in September and 1.1% during the third quarter.
  • Using the housing market ask prices and more specifically, looking at the ask prices of new sellers entering the market each week, it’s clear that new sellers are viewing the market more pessimistically than sellers entering the market during the Spring.  This would make sense because of the clear seasonality in the national housing market.

Altos Research 10-city Index - US Housing Market Prices

  • Existing sellers are starting to show more pessimism as well, as the number of active listings with price reductions is starting to show signs of increasing this Fall.  This value stabilized in July and is stabilizing again this Fall.  The initial stabilization in July 2009 is evidence that sellers initiated price reductions to motivate buyers, influencing aggregate prices to move lower:

US Housing Price Reductions - Altos Research 10-City Index

Just so you know, we’re now the only ones a little bearish on the housing market this Fall. Negative sentiments are aplenty out there.  Here’s a sampling of what a few others are seeing in the housing market:


(Disclosure: Author owns a modest number of DMM shares mentioned in this article. This does not suggest or imply investment advice of any kind.  As our CEO likes to say – “make your own trades cowboy…”)


walidmrealtor October 27, 2009 at 4:26 am

“we’re now the only ones a little bearish”… Did you mean not?

I think you’ve nailed this one – the market’s creeping back; however, uncertainty is still the prevailing undercurrent and coupled with local and National unemployment woes, the coming holiday season, and the massive pressure from REO’s – it’s an uphill battle for the average home seller.

Scott Sambucci October 27, 2009 at 8:59 am

Thanks for the note. Always hard to know exactly when the market is going to turn, especially when there’s only one data point released each month. There’s definitely rumblings that the recent gains are going to feel some downward pressure. Guess we’ll have to wait until the Sept numbers are released to see it…

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