The latest Case-Shiller numbers are out and, after a long hiatus, I thought I’d pour through the numbers. The beat place to start is at the Wall Street Journal‘s Real Time Economics blog where you can find a sortable chart as well as a link to some great interactive graphics.
What is immediately striking about the numbers is how much the US housing market has rebounded from the recession and housing bubble. It appears to be mostly back and in good shape, thanks in no small part to a long run of historically low long-run interest rates. Portland’s housing market has tracked the national average closely but we are above average lately. In fact in the last year, the increase in values of Portland homes has been fifth best of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller index. Denver continues as number one and what is amazing about Denver is how much it avoided the whole housing bubble almost completely.
The question for the future is as the Fed starts to reign in cheap credit to ward off inflation will wages start to improve. So far wages have been stubbornly unyielding and thus inflation has not really heated up and allowed the Fed to pursue it accommodative policies. But it won’t last and the housing market will rise or fall on the ability of wages to begin to rise.
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