Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Look at Housing Markets and Portland

Here is a pretty picture of the Case-Shiller index for the 20 metro areas it covers. Portland is (appropriately) salmon colored. It does give us some reason for optimism I suppose - though it feels like Portland house prices skyrocketed, relatively, Portland's appreciation was fairly mild compared to cities like Miami, LA, Washington DC that saw huge spikes and now huge depreciations. But there is a troubling trend: notice that Seattle and Portland are in almost lock-step and have appreciated strongly, especially since '04, and are the only ones with the trend of strong appreciation and no subsequent depreciation...yet. I think with the softer national economy we have plenty of reason for concern. However, we have not risen to the lofty heights that the big fallers reached. The strength of housing markets is that supply is counter cyclical (builders don't build and homeowners decide to wait to sell) so if we don't experience a rash of foreclosures which forces added supply on the market, I think we may see some depreciation, but I don't think we will crash.

Graph from "The Mess that Greenspan Made"

No comments: