Case-Shiller Numbers: Six Months of an Uptick But What Does It All Mean?

September 29, 2009


Upon a mixed bag of numbers released last week by the National Association of Realtors, Standard & Poor?s Case-Shiller Housing Numbers released this morning show continued movement upwards making July the sixth month in a row with slight gain. ?The rate of annual decline in home price values continues to decelerate and we now seem to be witnessing some sustained monthly increases across many of the markets? says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor?s.

Locally, Chicago had a 2.7% increase from June to July. The year-over-year numbers show a decrease of 14.2%.

What Do All These Numbers Mean?

Chicago's Skyline from the West Loop

Chicago's Skyline from the West Loop

Everyone is looking at the historical data to predict the future. As Realtors®, that is what are clients are looking to us for. Should they list? Should they buy? Should they wait? In the big picture, there are so many variables that are effecting the housing market including unemployment, the first-time-buyer tax credit, and the lending industry. The ?should?? for the buyers and sellers depends on their individual situations.

For sellers it comes down to, can you afford to sell or do you have to sell? If you want to sell, do you have the equity in your property to sell at today?s market value or can you write the check for the difference if need be? If not, it is probably not the time to list. If you must sell for whatever reason, we have to ask the same questions but if you don?t have the equity in your home or cannot write the check, then it is time to explore the short sale option and make sure the seller clearly understands what it involves.

For home buyers there are great opportunities, but they have to be the right opportunity. Buyers must also be better financially qualified than in the recent past, as well look at the long term value as there will probably not be a short term gain. For the true investor it is being about a bottom feeder with cash. Purchasers who are looking for a home should be looking for the best value for the space that will work for them. This is going to be defined by the specific neighborhood?s conditions. Some factors to take into account are inventory levels, past pricing performance, foreclosure and short sale rates, and most importantly the most recent comparables. How long do you plan to be in the home?

In the height of the frenzy of the real estate market not so many years ago, buyers would over look conditions they could not change about a property. For many years to come, price is going to be the only factor that will overcome that you cannot change. Remember, every buyer becomes a seller.

We’d like to thank Seth Anderson for sharing today’s photo via the Creative Common’s License.
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About Andrea Geller

Andrea Geller, Realtor® with Sudler Sotheby?s International Realty, specializes in residential real estate sales and marketing of resale properties and new construction homes. Acknowledged as an expert in the real estate industry, Andrea has been interviewed for industry related articles for print and online media including the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Reuters,, and Illinois Realtor Magazine. Andrea's commitment extends to the community as an active member of several professional associations. Her appointments include the Board of Directors of the Chicago, Illinois, and National Association of Realtors® and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. She markets herself under HOT PROPERTY®, an innovation in the real estate industry led by Chaz Walters that has been marketed since the 1990s. This unique real estate concept is always a step ahead of the industry providing marketing from cutting edge interactive exposure to targeted innovative advertising opportunities. Visit her at or 773.868.3090.

View all posts by Andrea Geller


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