February’s data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices were a bit disappointing with nine cities — Tampa, Las Vegas, New York, Seattle, Portland OR, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte and Cleveland all making new post-boom lows. After all this, Las Vegas still holds the unenviable record for the largest peak-to-trough drop of 62%. The two composites also made new lows as shown on the table:
Another comparison of the cities is seen in the chart. The vertical axis shows the decline from the peak and the horizontal axis shows the peak gain from January 2000. The best spot would be the upper right hand corner — huge gains and no declines. The dotted lines show price appreciation — the dashed red line indicates a 4% annual gain. Most cities are in the middle area ranging from Dallas and Denver down and to the right to San Francisco — these did OK but not great. Toward the lower left hand corner is Detroit with a deep decline following very modest gains in the boom. The Sunbelt is together on the lower right. Moving towards the upper right corner in the shaded area are New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. These global cities seem to follow global trends as much as domestic economics. No surprise that the buyers making news in these three cities often come from overseas. The design of the chart is due to Prof. Joseph Pagliari of the University of Chicago; the data are the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.