Just got off the phone with Mike and it…

looks like he is much farther along than I suspected in realizing the dream of a better housing index!

The idea is that the Real-Time National Housing Report will report on “real-time” market conditions for 20 major metro areas. The interesting angle that Altos Research brings to the table is that their index enhances sales data (most typically used for this type of analysis and lags current market conditions by a few months) by including a listing and pending information.

Here are some insights they were able to gleam from this month’s report (*.pdf):

  • Nationally, the housing market continued to experience the widely-publicized pressure this month but a handful of cities have managed to buck the downward trend. Inventory levels displayed seasonal declines in many markets.
  • Time-on-market continued to increase substantially, indicating that the decline in
    demand continues to outpace inventory reductions.
  • In San Diego, the first effects of the October wildfires became visible in pricing, inventory and time-on-market trends. Prices fell in San Diego by 5.8% during the last three months.
  • Significant price decreases were also observed in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
  • Miami experienced the longest time-on-market spans with an average days-on-market of 137 in November. Minneapolis had the second highest average days-on-market at 125.
  • Three markets maintained price stability this Autumn – New York, Denver, and Dallas – though weakening demand indicators do not bode well for the near term.

If you like data, then definitely check out the report for more details. I think Mike Simonson of Altos Research and Stephen Bedikian of RealIQ are on to something very interesting.

Tim points out just how bad…

…the Case-Shiller index is.   Interesting because I’ve heard multiple times in the past few months how trivial it would be to create a better index and I’m somewhat surprised Zillow hasn’t taken this on yet. But then again, a good argument could be made that they may already be too big for their own good, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.