Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bonus question about home prices

An economics professor forced his grad students to do a lot of research of house prices (the terms grunt work and slave labor come to mind), and the Case-Shiller index was born. The index measures different housing markets (e.g., Atlanta, New York, Charlotte) and compares the price of willing buyer and a willing seller for a certain configuration of house. You can read about it at this Standard & Poor site.

I have selected a handful of markets (and included Charlotte).

Charlotte is the one at the bottom, with a slow rise from 73.32 in Jan '91 to 133.98 in Dec '07. There is a composite of 20 markets thrown in for good measure. You may click on the image to get a bigger picture. I created the graph by downloading the Case-Shiller Historical Values and playing with Excel.

OK, now here are a few questions for you.
  1. Which market had the highest rise?
  2. When did it peak?
  3. Are any of the markets still rising?
  4. If this were a technical chart of stock charts, which ones would you buy?
  5. Which ones would you sell short?

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