Posted on April 1, 2010
The closely watched Standard & Poors / Case-Schiller index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.3 percent from December on a seasonally adjusted basis. That marked eight consecutive months of home values improving or at least holding steady.
The index was down 0.7 percent from the same month last year, the nearest that the year-over-year reading has come to positive territory in three years.
Seattle is one of the 20 cities in the Case-Schiller index, but it saw January home prices fall 0.6 from December and 6 percent from January 2009.
The Seattle residential market peaked in summer 2007 and has dropped 29 percent since then. Local prices have returned to May 2005 levels.
This does seem about right for the Seattle market overall. But, based on the recent sales volume that our office has been experiencing over the past couple of months, I would venture to say that some of the desirable close-in neighborhoods have fared somewhat better than this with less of a price drop than the Case-Schiller index indicates.
Although all areas have seen price declines over the past couple of years, the "urban villages" of Seattle with their easy downtown commute have been better able to withstand price declines than the outlying suburban neighborhoods.