The table compares the 20 S&P/Case-Shiller Cities using the data released earlier this week. There are a few positive bits among the numbers. The last column showing the recovery from recent lows actually has some figures above one or two percent — and only one zero as Las Vegas was the only city to make a new low in the month. One pleasant surprise is Detroit is almost 12 % above its low. This should be tempered slightly since sales activity, and therefore some level of confidence in the data, is slighlty down in Detroit. Looking at the overall picture, the maximum declines seen in the 10-city and 20-city composites remain at about 33%-34%, roughly the same drop seen in the Great Depression.
Although everyone talks about the national economy and the collapse of the nation’s entire housing industry, these data suggest a deeper look may be in order. Some areas including California are seeing gains from their lows and others such as Dallas and Denver never suffered the colossal losses seen in the sun belt. Housing is moving back to a collection of local and regional markets, even if mortgage lending remains a single national market. This represents a small step towards a more normal, or understandable, housing market.