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Case Shiller Misses Expectations, Unadjusted Home Prices Lowest In A Decade

Tyler Durden's picture


The February Case Shiller number is out and represents the latest high frequency economic miss, with the 20 City Seasonally Adjusted number printing up 0.15% on expectations of 0.20%. The good news, of course, is that this is the first improvement in the Seasonally Adjusted Top 20 MSA Series since April 2011. The bad news is that this was all warm weather driven, and courtesy of seasonal adjustments: unadjusted the February data declined once again, this time by 0.8%, the 6th consecutive decline in a row, and the lowest number in a decade. Furthermore, the data would be uglier if it were not for prior period downward revisions in what seems to be a page right out of the BLS propaganda playbook. Needless to say, since this data is two months delayed, as many will recall in February the market was soaring on hopes that this time, just once, the "recovery" will be self-sustaining. Then the LTRO aftereffects fizzled, and everything went to hell again. Finally putting it all into perspective, the February data puts the Top 20 City data back on par with price levels last seen in early 2003. But hey - at least we have a very brief and transitory seasonally adjusted upswing.

From the report:

“While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Nine MSAs -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa -- and both Composites hit new post-crisis lows. Atlanta continued its downward spiral, posting its lowest annual rate of decline in the 20-year history of the index at -17.3%. The 10-City Composite declined 3.6% and the 20-City was down 3.5% compared to February 2011.


“Due to delays in reporting for Mecklenburg County, we did not publish a January index level for Charlotte, North Carolina last month. With this month’s report we have enough data to publish data points for both January and February. The unfortunate news is that it confirms that Charlotte is one of the cities that is still reaching new lows.

Charting the monthly change:

And the 5-month drop in house prices is its highest since mid 2009...


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Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:27 | 2369575 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

CNBC on iPad first reported a raise, then fall. LOL... WTF...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:28 | 2369580 maxmad
maxmad's picture

Chicago and Atlanta in a depression

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:32 | 2369600 maxmad
maxmad's picture

Housing the only part of the economy, they cant prop up!!!!

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:52 | 2369648 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Illinois is a lost cause. They keep giving more money to the public unions to shore up pensions with COLA increases and keep raising taxes and fees. 

People are fleeing Illinois, just like California before their taxed to death. Many people are saying sell and get out of Illinois while you can before there will be nobody left to buy your house.

In and around Chicago public workers are making big wages and pensions. Someone has to pay for these. The public unions keep crying to keep raising taxes to support the COLA and fat pensions.


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:03 | 2369681 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Illinois is $9 Billion in the red and there is no way out except a bailout...

All other states are not far behind...

My question is, how can a ponzi company like Troll Bros who makes more money selling stock than home sales have a market cap of $4 BILLION? LMAO!!

(rhetorical question! LMAO)

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:05 | 2387699 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Good question. "Perhaps if they slashed their dividend by 90 percent" we'd find out...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:39 | 2370083 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Bob Pissonme of CNBS just stated that Case Shiller is a lie

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:52 | 2369892 fightthepower
fightthepower's picture

In Atlanta, houses are flying off the market.  4-5 bids for every short sale.  Some of them above the market.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:31 | 2369593 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

Correct. I got that as well. Fucking bullshit is all it is. Not sure why I even have that stupid app. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:37 | 2369619 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

I have the CNBC app, FOX news app, HUFF post app, MSNBC app, and a few others in a folder aptly named "Bullshit" 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:05 | 2369684 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to delete them. Think of the joy you will give to the electrons no longer required to hold stupidity in place.

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:06 | 2387703 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

CNN thanks you. And yes...I still love you Erin Burnett.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:29 | 2369778 CH1
CH1's picture

Not sure why I even have that stupid app.

So they can track you, of course.

That's what apps do.

"Free" is never actually free.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:34 | 2369606 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

CNBC probably had it loaded last nite and just went with the 'rise' story, and I guess next Cramer will run out and confirm another strong housing bottom here.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:31 | 2369586 Sauk Leader
Sauk Leader's picture

Housing has become not an investment, but nothing more than a tax. shelter.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:32 | 2369597 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

And that my friend will be gone next year as well. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:33 | 2369603 Sauk Leader
Sauk Leader's picture

The strike through didnt work on "tax".

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:35 | 2369611 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

Strikethrough only works if you donate to project mayhem, or help make soap

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:50 | 2369654 i-dog
i-dog's picture

LOL. It was a sad day when RoboTarder lost his picture-posting privilege! We should hold a memorial service each year....

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:09 | 2387708 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I miss that guy. I miss anyone here who "disappears" actually. And we have had many btw. Review the t-shirt section folks! LONG LIVE ZHer's!

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:09 | 2369699 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

re-watched Sunday night... thanks AMC.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:13 | 2369715 RaymondKHessel
RaymondKHessel's picture
US new-home sales off 7 percent in March, largest decline in a year; prices also down.
Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:39 | 2369623 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

Housing isn't an investment its a noose...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:32 | 2370052 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Youre right about that, housing is a prison, its just an illusion that you 'own' it, they can confiscate your property anytime they feel like it, and a very crappy historical 'investment' for sure.

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:11 | 2387711 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"Don't pay." GOVERNOR Chris Christie.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:44 | 2369634 duo
duo's picture

housing is a consumable.  Most of the newer  buyers in my neighborhood never heard of yard work, fixing gutters and roofs, paint, etc.  The Real-Estate Industrial Complex told them just to buy and live in it, and it will make them rich.  When it didn' can see the results.

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:13 | 2387712 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

If this is an attempt at humor it's quite good. We like pictures here in case you were wondering...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:05 | 2369685 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

The good news is we will only lose 4% this year. It's next year I'm worried about.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:03 | 2369945 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Profound words, Rubbish, profound words you write!

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:44 | 2370099 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

agree... hope Rubbish is wrong ... but there is enough out there to actually have to listen to Celente and Joe Wiedenthal ...ugh expanded range of probabilities requires expande3d assessments.

Ray Dalio  basically probably has it correct ... this is going to take a long time.  Eventually, if the 'system' (here, Euroland or greater Asia) does not collapse ... technological change will probably serve as the catalyst to save us from our fiscal & 'entitlement' insanity

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:38 | 2370075 batterycharged
batterycharged's picture

My house is about 20% below what I paid for it in 1995. 2002 was quickly passed.

I'm guessing the nation will catch up to my assessed value. Disregard any notion of a bottom.  My housing went down 20% YOY.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:34 | 2369605 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

QE, rally.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:35 | 2369612 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

The limbo rock continues. How low can you go?

This is likely to prompt Big Ben to ease on down the road!

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:37 | 2369614 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture

The collapsing prices in Irvine condos – two zip codes see year over year price drops of 40 percent. Shadow inventory in Irvine is bigger than non-distressed MLS inventory.


Two zip codes in Irvine have seen median condo values fall by 40 percent in the last year. I have alerts setup for threshold points in certain locations and was surprised in the last few months of the number of condos hitting the MLS at $200k but also in the $100k range in Irvine. The mid-tier markets are definitely in a correction mode. I doubt many that buy these condos with FHA insured loans realize the HOA and high taxes on homes in Orange County, especially with Irvine.


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:37 | 2369618 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Media bleating 'Wheres retail!' in both housing and brick wall about to be smashed into.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:38 | 2369620 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Case Shiller head fake number.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:44 | 2369637 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Can't head fake that chart.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:59 | 2369673 Sauk Leader
Sauk Leader's picture

I thought it looked like Mount Rainier.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:29 | 2369777 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Little Tahoma.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:42 | 2369631 Quintus
Quintus's picture

I have a friend who has bought, over the past 12 months, nearly 100 houses and apartments in the Fort Meyers area of Florida, together with office blocks and other commercial stuff.

He tells me that prices there are rocketing and that there are 2 - 5 bids within minutes on every short-sale that comes up.   The other day I watched him lose out on a property that sold within 15 minutes of being put up for sale, while he was still discussing with his realty agent whether to buy it.

Genuine question:  Is he making all this stuff up, or is the market there really so different from what I see reported on ZH about US housing in general?  

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:46 | 2369640 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

For every Fort Myer, there are 50 Las Vegas's


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:04 | 2369683 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"For every Fort Myer, there are 50 Las Vegas's"

For every 50 Las Vegas there are 10 Detroits.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:12 | 2369704 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

I knew Detroit was bad, but this bad? Holy shit,MI/price;a_sort

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:35 | 2370065 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Pretty! I like the wild grasses growing and lack of yard mainenance. Maybe we'll start to see some wildlife moving in (cutting grass prevents seed formation, which is critical for feeding wildlife)! I am not worried, there are plenty of humans.

When Detroit lost respect for their major export (vehicles) they triggered their own decline. From clueless short-sighted management to defensive union leaders, low quality work, backward designs, it took the Japanese to build a really reliable vehicle. Now the young see cars only as a noose around their necks, a necessary evil, not the glamorous object of self-expression. Good riddance I say. The decline of health of Americans is a direct result of their love affair with vehicles and TV.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:43 | 2369840 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

I clicked to page 644.  Not a single residential listing for >$1M.  Someone really should document the decline of the Detroit real estate market with the Internet wayback machines.  It is the harbinger for the rest of the country once federal spending has to come in-line with revenue.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:17 | 2369995 Sauk Leader
Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:12 | 2369706 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

For every ten Detroits there are two Bodie California's.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:12 | 2369709 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Ah, Detroit

"Who lives in that nice section of the city across the river?" "Canadians"

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:16 | 2387716 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

And 100 Utica's. "and a stupid bitch in charge of the newspaper."

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:53 | 2369662 CuriousPasserby
CuriousPasserby's picture

I'm in Florida and see people buy short sales and foreclosures for 30 cents on the dollar and flip them in 90 days for a profit. Banks are desperate to unload and don't want to manage empty houses with lawn maintenance, copper thieves, etc.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:49 | 2369877 Kasperfx
Kasperfx's picture


30 cents on the dollar of what? The 03/08 highs? Trust assurd, FL has seen a tidawave of foreclosures held off the market last 2 years do to the robo-signing issues and now that the banks/AG have made arraignments "wink, wink"  last month that wave will crush those 30 cent on the dollar down to 10 cents once the smoke clears if thats your measurements.. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:49 | 2370119 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

guys ... you have hit one of the 'nails' on the head about this economy in the USofA at least.

We still do not understand if we have hit a 'bottom' locally, regionally or nationally.  Of course some areas are better (No Dakota, etc.) but broadly ... the 'mist' factor is just still too great

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:14 | 2369716 grey7beard
grey7beard's picture

>> Is he making all this stuff up

I can't say if he's exagerating or not, but, I've been shopping for an additional residence in the Ft. Myers area and it is certainly a brisk market.  Usually I can put a property on my watch list and it's still there 6 months later.  Most of my watch stuff is gone, or under contract with weeks there.  I've stepped aside from the fray as I feel the marketers are over hyping everything.  I had one RE cnut tell me prices were up 36% in a year so I'd better snap it up.  What does appear to be happening is prices are down about 60-65% and that seems to be the reasonable threshold.  I'm going wait for things to simmer down a bit and also to see how the hurricane season is this year.  With it being a blistering hot year there ought to be a few humongus hurricanes.  One of those babies moves into the gulf and so much for the SW Fl housing boom.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:49 | 2370078 Kasperfx
Kasperfx's picture

it's called Propaganda


they're using the premises "theirs a sucker born each day"  the only thing FL especially south west/east going for it the past 2 years is a hordes of going broke realtor's   and gov bodies to conger up ways to get those suckers to pay their BMW and moragage payments and taxes..  I think the ZH crowd is far from buying into these fairy tails.  

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:20 | 2369730 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Remember the scene from Les Miserables where Thenardiers is scouring the sewers and taking jewelry off of the dead?  I'm sure some of this might be true.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:49 | 2369882 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Is he connected with the banks at all? I saw a house get flipped in my neighborhood and it seemed underhanded how the bank handled it through a chosen third party.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 13:12 | 2370451 ArmchairRevolut...
ArmchairRevolutionary's picture

I have a feeling banks are flipping between themselves. If they have to take over an home, they have to record the loss. No one will buy it for an amount that will not cause a loss. However, if Bank A sells a property worth 100K to an investment company owned by Bank B for 200K. Then Bank B sells a property worth 100K to an investment company owned by Bank A for 200K. They get to keep on their books properties valued at 200K and take no loss.

Just a hunch, but that is why in my opinion all of the properties are being bought by nameless investors. Some of them are actually probably payoffs as well. Sold at below market to insiders.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 15:34 | 2371159 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture


Anecdotal from Florida…

I’m in Fort Lauderdale in a building with 400 condos. At the height (or low) of the downturn in 2009-10 as many as 38 condos were listed for sale… right now it’s 9.  BTW 9 is in line with the average (normal) number of listings at any given time in the past 40 years (since the place was built).

Also, in similar buildings around here, 2 bedroom condos were listed between 300K and 400K last year, most are between 400K and 500K now.

There is one left in the 300K in my building … it needs to be gutted and redone.

Just sayin...


Disclaimer: I’m not in real estate… just thought someone might be interested in my bit of info. I hear some people are still moving (retiring) down here.


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:56 | 2369666 asteroids
asteroids's picture

I hate "seasonally adjusted". More bullshit. Absolute numbers in real-time please.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:59 | 2369675 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

SCUBA report...Schiller Case Underwaterhome Buying Aggregate.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:00 | 2369678 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Housing schmousing!! Housing is one little tiny itzy bitzy part of the economy. The important parts of the economy like BigMac and iPad sales are the real economy!!! Who needs houses when you have iPhone5s?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:09 | 2369697 Sauk Leader
Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:22 | 2369735 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

I was just in Chicago area.  They just raised road tolls by, count them, 83%!  To a person citizens are pissed!  Good to know there is no corruption in city and state government though.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:36 | 2369809 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Increasing fees, decreasing services... the new norm.  It was sh-ts and giggles on the way up (not really... as incomes were pretty much stagnant for the vast majority... but the squeeze was more tolerable as the bubble inflated.  Now it's time to pay the piper, so to speak, and our nuts are in a vice.  This is THE story behind ALL of the economic news.  A ponzi monetary system created a normalcy bias for the previous 40 years... the new normal will suck... until... everything comes apart.  

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:53 | 2370141 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

" Good to know there is no corruption in city and state government though."  >> very funny

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:36 | 2369810 markar
markar's picture

In the Palm Springs area inventory has been dropping steadily for the past year, month after month. Listed homes in good locations selling fast to mostly cash buyers--Canadians. I'd say a floor on prices has been hit here. Few forclosures on the market so the banks are definitely holding back.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:42 | 2369834 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Real estate is local... so my disclaimer when I say this... sure... the floor may be in.  BUT.... calling a "floor" implies that some level of economic normalcy has take root.  Even if that economic normalcy is some % worse that where we were 2, 3 or 4 years ago (or whatever time frame you want to consider).  From where I sit... people who are buying at what you are calling a "floor", may very well be selling in something other than dollars at some point in the not too distant future.  In that sort of a world, it's hard to say that we've reached any sort of "floor".  

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:46 | 2369860 fightthepower
fightthepower's picture

In Atlanta, houses are flying off the market.  4-5 bids for every short sale.  Some of them above the market. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:09 | 2369961 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

does it feel like 2005 and 2006  all over again?  As I say above... if the economy has hit a floor, then good for these "investors".  But if you look at the very long term trends, I think we have another 20% to go (in the aggregate... everything is local)... and the return trip usually overshoots the target by some %.  I've seen people try to play with charts to show a "normal" trend line that grows... but I think that trend line is a gov't sponsored 70-year bubble created by the narrative/mythology of the "American Dream".  And the possibility (I think probability) that the days of the dollar are numbered... all bets are very much off.  Time will tell, of course.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:41 | 2370088 donsluck
donsluck's picture

I read a study of very long term real estate values, based on English real estate since their records go back something like 300 years. Guess what, adjusted for inflation, real estate goes DOWN at about 0.5% a year.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:56 | 2370148 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Yeah... the onus is really on the person who tries to create a case the value of real estate should go up.  People try to go the scarcity route, but that's kind of a non-starter, no?  Some people want to claim that the materials being used are better and therefore support and increase in cost... but the opposite is most likely true... solid surfaces aside.  I'm with you... I think I could make a better case for a slight down tick vs. uptick... but either way... I can't defend the uptick of the trend line that people want to use to suggest we've hit some historical bottom.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 14:42 | 2370853 GoldRetriever
GoldRetriever's picture

The only houses off the market - flying or otherwise - are all the foreclosures being held back in the shadow inventory by the banks.

Who do you "work" for? Keller Williams? Harry Norman?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 13:18 | 2370479 ArmchairRevolut...
ArmchairRevolutionary's picture

In Miami the development authority claims that 95% of condos in the downtown area are occupied. They include in this number developer owned and "rented" and investor owned/second homes. They do not bother to say how many are developer owned or how many are investor/second homes. In other words, they are clearly trying to push a much higher occupancy number to get people believe(fool them) that now is a good time to buy.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 14:57 | 2370942 Jena
Jena's picture

Markar, we'll see when the Canadians leave town, typically in another month or so.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:54 | 2369901 Conor
Conor's picture

Marker: "I'd say a floor on prices has been hit here...... Few forclosures on the market so the banks are definitely holding back."

If there is a shadow inventory, prices have not hit a floor.  Any price stabilization in this scenario is temporary. 


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 13:47 | 2370592 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

Right on!  Call the bottom, see demand increase, unload a little of the shadow inventory, see a new bottom immediately afterwards.  Shadow Inventory Cost Averaging.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:00 | 2369935 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

dudes....up to half of mortgage apps are being declined. It's all cash (foreigners) or foreclosures or the 1% doing this market. For everyone else, time to move back into mom's basement.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:43 | 2370097 blu
blu's picture

The data trend since '09 looks like a random walk around a mean, and nearly flat. Not sure we can say it's headed down, but it's certainly not headed up. My sense is that it will go down eventually, homes are now probably 20% rich to a non-centrally-planned price. If the builders blow themselves up (some evidence for this) then home building might go down in many markets and home prices will stabilize. In California, the redevelopment agencies were nuked a while back by Gov Brown, and redev investment was a huge money teat the builders could suck on. Not any more it's not.

The next year for housing will be the tell. After that I guess the fireworks will be over. For the most part.

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 11:14 | 2373454 e-recep
e-recep's picture

i dont see why the floor should have been reached. it will be reached when the trade with china is balanced, not before that.

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