Balderdash: Green points out what has been my main gripe: It doesn't include enough cities — just 20 in one index and 10 in another. Further, four of the 10 biggest cities in the country aren't tracked: Houston and San Antonio in Texas, Philadelphia and San Jose, Calif. But two cities well out of the top 10, and out of the top 20, are included: Minneapolis and Tampa, Fla.
Most importantly here, neither Oklahoma City nor Tulsa are included. Or Moore. Or Edmond. Or Durant. Or Woodward.
“The 20 Case-Shiller cities account for fewer than 1 percent of all U.S. cities. In other words, the ‘national figures' of the Case-Shiller Index aren't really national,” Green wrote. Amen.
Hooey: The index tracks repeat sales, but only single-family detached — no condos, no multifamily and no new construction.
Twaddle: S&P publishes on a 60-day delay, so Case-Shiller “is reporting on a housing market that no longer exists,” Green wrote. “This is because home sales that closed in November are actually based on purchase contracts for homes written between August-October — half a year ago! — and it's these contracts upon which the Case-Shiller Index is based.”
Amen, and amen.
Like any good preacher, Green ended with a note of hope:
“Historical data helps economists and policymakers understand the long-term trends of U.S. housing, but it does little good for today's buyers and sellers in need of accurate, real-time data. For that, you need something current. If you're watching the Case-Shiller Index and looking for meaning, don't. You can't. Talk to a real estate agent instead.”