Home prices, and making sense of the new numbers

I mention this not because there is any real news in the latest statistics from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, perhaps the most respected gauge of national home price trends. It noted that the prices in the Dallas area fell 4.9 percent from January 2008 and 10.8 percent from their peak in June 2007. Those were the smallest declines in the survey; homes in Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego have lost more than 40 percent of their peak value.

I mention it because we have better numbers in our Advocate Home Price Snapshot, which tracks home prices by ZIP code for the five neighborhoods where we publish magazines. The current chart is updated through the end of 2008, and we’ll update it again at the end of June. (Thanks to Ron Burch of Coldwell Banker for his help.) The Shiller numbers, as good as they are, include the entire DFW area, which lumps Arlington and Plano in with this neighborhood. That doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’re trying to get your home refinanced. We just don’t have variations between neighborhoods, but signifiant variations within ZIP codes in the same neighborhood.



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