No Housing Bottom As Case-Shiller Declines For 4th Consecutive Month; Misses YoY Expectations

Tyler Durden's picture

Not like it matters considering it is pretty much November, but back in August, the Case Shiller index once again missed expectations. The overall index declined 3.8% compared to an expectation of 3.5%, but more importantly, to all those calling for a bottom to housing, we draw your attention to the Composite Top 20 Seasonally Adjusted index, which declined for a 4th consecutive month, in August dropping to 140.56, a decline of -0.05%, following a revised drop of -0.15% in July. No good news were to be found in the prepared remarks either: "The 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual returns of -3.5% and -3.8% versus August 2010, respectively. At -8.5%, Minneapolis posted the lowest year-over-year return, but has improved in each of the last three months. Detroit and Washington DC were the only two cities to post positive annual returns of +2.7% and +0.3% respectively." Here is the bottom line: the seasonally adjusted data has posted 4 consecutive declines; and 14 out of 15 consecutive drops. The Top 20 SA index is now at 140.56, the second lowest in years, and better only than the 140.39 in March 2011. In other news - there is no housing bottom.

And the attempt to spin by Goldman:

BOTTOM LINE: House price growth slightly weaker than expected in August, but nationally prices still broadly stable.

Case-Shiller 20-city index -0.05% (mom, sa) for August vs. GS +0.2%, median forecast +0.1%.


1. The Case-Shiller 20-city house price index unexpectedly declined in August, falling by 0.05% (seasonally adjusted month-over-month). On a year-over-year basis the index was down 3.8%, a larger decline than the consensus expected. In addition to the slightly weaker August reading, earlier months were revised down. That being said, the decline in August and revisions were relatively small, and house prices continue to look broadly stable. [TD: sure - look at the chart above]

2. Results were quite mixed across regions, with six states reporting month-over-month increases and the other fourteen reporting declines. Washington DC continued to outperform other regions, with a 1% increase in August (mom, sa). Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Phoenix saw sizable price declines

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trav7777's picture

Detroit, bitchez

redpill's picture

The misguided tax credit from the federal gov't distorted the data last year, so it's only been in the last few months where the year-over-year comparisons have been in the post tax credit expiration period and there are some signs of a weak bottom. But there are still many obstacles which will prevent a substantive housing recovery from occurring any time soon. While foreclosure rates have abated in most areas, it could be a temporary trend, and there is still a substantial pipeline of distressed housing in many markets that needs to be worked through before a healthy housing equilibrium can be achieved. There are also a number of aspects of this downturn that are unique. In previous recessions, housing has been a leading industry in the recovery period. But that is not as likely this time around.


Typically in a non-boom housing market, construction naturally slows as a recession hits, and because consumers become cautious there is some pent up housing demand during the recession which fuels an expansion as the recessionary conditions ease. This time around, though, we have so much excess housing already, so many people underwater on their mortgages, etc., that it will be much harder for housing to see rapid improvement. A tangent to that though is that multi-family rentals have been expanding as many people have gone back to renting for a variety of reasons. As a result, instead of new construction being a leading force driving economic recovery, this time it will likely be the caboose and depends on improvements in the job market and broader economy (which aren't likely to happen soon), as well as just being a matter of time before all the excess housing units built during the boom are finally absorbed in a sustainable way.

WonderDawg's picture

The real estate market is still way overvalued. We have another 40% down before a bottom can even be detected. Schiller said it earlier this year, 25% to 40% further down to go, and that's optimistic in my view. The only thing keeping the market propped up right now is legalized accounting fraud for the banks. Take that away and look out below.

Smiddywesson's picture

Yes, it is very difficult for the housing market to bottom until the jobs situation improves and the banks disgorge all the shadow inventory and it is dealt with.  Dawg's estimate of a further 40% drop in prices is conservative.  Markets are made at the margin, meaning nonparticipants don't affect the price, just those buying and selling. 

So let's look at the sellers.  Those who don't have to sell will sit on their houses and not sell.  The remainder have to sell and will accept lower prices.  Therefore, most of the houses on the market cannot be sold at top prices because their owners cannot bargain effectively.  Also title problems, foreclosures in nearby areas, bankrupt cities and towns, and bankrupt community funds contribute to lower prices. 

How about the buyers?  In this environment you basically have people out looking for deals.  Yes, the ones who are sitting it out waiting for the bottom are not engaged in price discovery either, but there has to be some promise of a bottom to get them to act, and nobody sees that now.  After three years of hype, it is going to be increasingly difficult to lure these people into the market. 

I see a multi-year death spiral for housing that brings us down 80% from the top.   

redpill's picture

Won't happen.  Even in the hardest hit areas the average price per square foot of distressed properties has stabilzed over the last few quarters because people snap them up in the chase for yield, and the rental market is doing quite well.

The Fed and the feds will never allow the big banks to go belly up, and with an infinite monetary backstop there will always be a slosh of money to prop up prices.  We may give up another 5-10% but that's about it.

boiltherich's picture

Red any perceived stabilization is part illusion and part the stabilization of unemployment claims at 400,000 per week, for the moment.  It is illusory when the government (FHA, VA, Fanny, Freddie, USDA rural development ETC.)  takes homes but is not reporting or selling them as foreclosures, as well as many banks refusing to sell at a few dimes on the dollar, not to mention states like Oregon where I am that is now in a moratorium on foreclosure sales. 

Of course some areas are more immune than others, and mind you if it were not for a few red state pockets of oil/gas boom drilling to skew the data the numbers would have looked far worse than they have. 

Most of us agree, and I believe the wider US population knows that we are the verge of the next leg down, it will be a rocky Christmas and 2012?  I do not even want to think about it.  That leg down will see yet another 50% off the already 50% off people like me have experienced in house values.  Just as before though there will be a lag time after the new leg down for prices to manifest lower.  Six moths to a year I think. 

A massive Greater Depression lasting many years, a generation, could be a good news bad news situation for us, nobody will be unscathed.  Whether in the end we have more realistic expectations, more sustainable lives, fairer commerce, and more enlightened citizens, or devolve into class war and perhaps global warfare which would in effect sterilize the planet is worth a debate keeping in mind none of us has unique knowledge of where we are headed.  The best you can do is construct a vision of your own future in your mind and strive to reach for it.  Just don't feel bad when your reach is greater than your grasp. 

Clark Bent's picture

Fannie is working hard to create the illusion that housing values have not dropped by, IMHO, issuing blow-them-out-of-the-water exaggerated appraisals. I have seen them over-appraise a MC Mansion by about 30% and in the process torpedo the only short sale bid received in 14 months. Seems they would rather have a worthless empty house than have to adjust their perspective to accept that their portfolio of assets is massively overvalued. Recognizing their assets are worth-less than what they are pretending would probably interfere with the plan to own all residential property in the U.S. 

ZeroPower's picture

lol. Who the hell wants to live there? Are people actually moving to detroit?

o2sd's picture

No. They are knocking down houses and building urban farms. I shit you not. When you can buy 5 houses for 5 bucks, it's good business.

The problem in Detroit (and most of MI) is the absurd property taxes, state income taxes etc. The County/State flushes money down the crapper at a frightening rate, and they've always got their hand in your pocket for more.

Of course, if there is a financial collapse/reset, and the land titles office survives, one could become a large landowner if you had the coin to pay the leeching bureaucrats until the implosion.



achmachat's picture

honestly... Detroit and DC. who would have guessed?

Archimedes's picture

Well come on, in Detroit you can buy a home for $700. And DC is where all of the Political maggots live and they are the only one's that still have jobs....for now.

redpill's picture

DC has been a consistent performer over the last couple years, so it's no surprise.  Detroit is less intuitive, but things got so bad there that even the modest improvement in the auto industry can make a positive impact.

kridkrid's picture

Detroit isn't less intuitive.  Detroit never enjoyed the fake rise in housing values during the fed induced housing bubble.  When housing crashed, Detroit crashed right along with everyone else.  Detroit likely is at their bottom.  Everyone else has another 20-30% to fall, just to get back to a reasonable trend line.  If the Greater Depression pushes us below the long term trend line, the market will go down another 30%+.  If we go mad max, all bets are off.

trav7777's picture

Detroilet is at zero.  Literally, there is no recovery in a lot of those houses.  The city went 365black and it became just like africa.

The police have announced that they will no longer respond to a lot of crime calls, such as burglary even.  Much of the city isn't patrolled or even inhabited and they are bulldozing neighborhoods back to greenspace.  Downtown a couple years ago, ALL skyscrapers except the RenCen appeared to me to be uninhabited and were in most cases boarded up at the front doors or otherwise sealed.

Detroit will come back when the white people do.  As for DC, the level of gentrification is eyepopping now.  People who go to Howard are even going wtf.  I saw white people riding bicycles at 1am near there the other day and there's a Sunday morning Farmer's market a few blocks away.  DC is on fast-track to increased livability and viability as a result.  The ghetto edge continues to be pushed eastward and now even Capitol St isn't holding the line.  When I got here it was at 14th.  Places that I can remember were no-goes are now totally yuppied.  High end restaurants, condos, you name it.  Sort of like what has happened in the Bronx, Times Square, and even Harlem.  Tax payers and non-SNAPs are being given the keys because let's face it, they pay taxes and don't commit crimes.

riley martini's picture

 DC is where government money gets spent first . The same thing happened during the Reagan years. Regan spending helped ease some of the 80's recession along with a little mini housing boom . The real game changer was the computer - internet revolution . Regan-Obama debt spiral.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Detriot is in a housing bubble.

Afghani refugees and damn artists! with their huge inflated salaries are bidding up housing.

firstdivision's picture

Why would anyone want to pay for a place in Detroit? 

afdestruction's picture

Certain "investors" think that the dirt cheap housing (comparatively) is a good investment. They don't realize they're buying properties in a ghost town

disabledvet's picture

it's not free anymore. it's 2 dollars and 34 cents.

dwdollar's picture

So true...

...but the math would be more like from $1.00 to $1.03.

pendragon's picture

qe3 mbs = must buy shit

Enceladus's picture

The price of a house in Detroit went from $1 to 1.027

warchopper's picture

Houses are almost like cars now. As soon as you take ownership, they begin to depreciate. My spouse routinely freaks out about our home value, but I bought my home because I like it, not because I'm trying to flip it or make a profit out of it. Although I would hope the value doesn't slip to $0, I'm o.k. with that because I knew what I was getting into, and it's a great spot for my I retire in 2 years (I'll be 39).



Clueless Economist's picture

Retire in 2 years at age 39?  Impossi....oh wait I get it you are a suburban cop. 

spanish inquisition's picture

Definition of an optimist - Someone who is planning to retire with a pension that will support them for the next 30 years

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Warchopper... In Argentina during the financial debacle/depression people were trading houses for cars.

Cars had the utility value of getting one to work/home...while an extra home was an added financial burden. 

boiltherich's picture

To quote my real estate agent when I bought my first house in 1999 "houses NEVER go down in value." 

The only way to make your house depreciate then was to put a rusty old Camaro up on cinder blocks in the front yard.  Even then flippers would usually compete to buy the place. 

I hope it works out for you, it didn't for me, and though my house did not drop to zero it did lose half it's value in less than two years making any solution to the problem of needing to move other than selective default impossible.  Since the bank is unwilling to sell at a loss, and now a court ruling has essentially suspended all foreclosure sales in Oregon I find I am still owner of an empty defaulted foreclosed house that will likely still be fucking up my credit for years to come unless I file chapter 7 to foreswear any further debts from the place. 

It is a zombie nightmare from which there is no waking till the collapse comes and levels the playing field.  And I had waited till housing fell below the cost of replacement to buy, I knew there was a bubble and I waited till it popped.  In the run up to the housing collapse people used their houses to extract as much as $20,000 per month in equity like a giant ATM, and renters who were responsible watch for years as the rest of society got all the new toys and went to Europe on vacations we could only dream of, by being responsible and waiting I found my house to be a negative ATM where I was pushing thousands per month into it with no returns.  It is not that I am jealous, because having done the right thing is enough for me, who here has not gotten burned trading stocks in the past?  Sometimes you try to catch a falling knife and get cut. 

RobotTrader's picture

XHB from $12 to $17, a year's worth of gains in 3 weeks.

Irish66's picture

No wonder it wasn't on the tv

Dick Darlington's picture

Ain't no love in Ireland either...

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Irish house prices fell in September
from the previous month as a four-year property slump persisted,
the Central Statistics office said.
     Home prices declined 1.5 percent from August and dropped
14.3 percent from a year earlier, the Cork-based statistics
office said in a statement on its website today. That compares
with an annual drop of 13.9 percent in August.
     Irish house prices have fallen 44 percent since peaking in
2007 as the ending of a decade-long property bubble was
compounded by the global credit crisis and tighter lending
criteria by banks. Ireland’s economy contracted about 15 percent
in that period and unemployment almost trebled.
     “Given weak labour market conditions and the continuing
lack of available bank credit, it is hard to be optimistic on
the prospects for the property market in the immediate future,”
Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin,
said in an e-mailed note. “The level of any rise over the next
few years is only likely to be in the low single digits.”
     Home prices in Dublin fell 15.6 percent from a year ago and
are down 49 percent since the 2007 peak, the statistics office
said. On the month, home prices fell 2.1 percent in the Irish

boiltherich's picture

And the kicker is that housing there is still wildly unaffordable.

topcallingtroll's picture

$100 down buys you a house!
No credit check!

I thought we all learned where loose underwriting leads.

trav7777's picture

$100 could buy you a whole block in Detroilet

Sudden Debt's picture

According to eurostat, the US has 4% inflation so everybody's down

RobotTrader's picture

GDX and GLD getting hammered with EUR, tick for tick.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Gold $1657.50... trading in a narrow range recently. Nice try.

trav7777's picture

gold just went $30 vertical, you fuckin idiot

uranian's picture

anyone else suspect that robo is actually one of the tylers taking the piss for shits and giggles?

Snakeeyes's picture

Case-Shiller sends false signal:


Plus, misery index is on the rise!!!!!!!!!! See chart.


riley martini's picture

 Trillions of  dollars spent by the gov.  to make housing cost more . What do you get ? Making homes affordable program at the expense of the worker .

John Law Lives's picture

"Detroit and Washington DC were the only two cities to post positive annual returns of +2.7% and +0.3% respectively."

That is pretty sad when two of the most crime-ridden cities in America are looked upon as bright spots in the housing market.

trav7777's picture

Violent crime is down 50% in the past decade and a half in DC.  The white population is increasing on verge of losing black majority.,_DC  you can see where all the crime's (drum roll) in the black areas.  As DC whitens further, crime will continue to drop.  This phenomenon is so ubiquitous and inexorable that I marvel that anyone can't seem to figure it out still.

Of course, the DWLs will spin it that the neighborhoods got "economically revitalized" but all that means is that white people moved in and cleaned the place up and rebuilt civilization.  Let's recall that every single housing project was a FIRST RATE building and facility when it was constructed and systematic abuse by its residents turned 100% of them into decrepit shitholes with 0 recovery value.  Some of the worst slums in the US, like Cabrini Green in Chicago, were absolutely spectacular when erected.  Of course they had to be the best, because nothing less than the best will do for the shiftless, lazy trash that they housed there, right?  Just like those Katrina refugees were demanding something better than water after being bused out of the hell they created.

And, like night follows day, the residents of those places destroyed them.  There was a recent landmark study, which the DWLs in the media are trying to underreport and bury, that plotted Section 8s on a map and then plotted crime on a map, with a longitudinal study (meaning over time, as section 8 facilities moved around), and lo and behold they could have been the same fucking map.  In fact, the two maps were so close that initially they assumed it was some kind of a practical joke.  Bottom line, you do NOT want diversity in your neighborhood or anywhere near you.  Tell the DWLs on the fuckin city planning boards to put that shit in their whitopia neighborhoods if they love it so much.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"Violent crime is down 50% in the past decade and a half in DC.  The white population is increasing on verge of losing black majority."

Let's hope that the Heller decision helps even more!

disabledvet's picture

where this will get interesting is the next fed created bubble in apartment REITS. if there's a sudden move out of single family homes and into apartments (and given the collapse of incomes and the creation of this new bubble how can there not be?) what will happen to the value of single family "McMansions" that are all over the North American continent? I say their value will plunge like the Victorians of New York.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"I say their value will plunge like the Victorians of New York."

Of course they will. The Victorians had servant staff of ~ 25 people. Even what we think of as 'the very wealthy' today would struggle with supporting such a staff and their food, shelter, clothing, medical, etc. Victorian was pre income taxes and most other taxes were much lower than today. Those huge mansions required constant maintenence, groundskeepers, etc.

If you are into boats check out some of the racing yachts owned by the Victorians. Many of them owned multiple yachts, some for pleasure crusing, some for racing, etc. All hand built from real wood by the finest shipwrights. 125 foot racing yachts were not unusual. Megabucks.

The 'big' homes of today are built of pressed wood and Chinese dry wall... that crap isn't going to last very long, even with a vibrant economy and proper upkeep. I'm surprised more of them haven't been burned for insurance purposes.