Housing Market Report September 2010

September 2010 Overview

lexington-remodeling-altos-research-logoWhere there had been blips of increased activity and asking price during the 2nd quarter of 2010, those have been replaced by measurable decreases in price, as well as a steady increase in inventory.  Nationally, week-over-week drops in price are gathering speed, making it clear that the small gains seen earlier in the year were generated by momentary external forces rather than an overall increase in consumer confidence.

Inventory is increasing, albeit more slowly than in recent months.  More striking is that the Altos 10-City Composite showed price decreases in each of the 26 markets it tracks.  This month, the Altos 10-City Composite price decreased 1.06%.

September 2010 Highlights

  • The Altos 10-City Composite is now at $469,000 below the previous bottom of the market, recorded in January 2009, when the Federal Government’s stimulus bill was put into effect.
  • In August 2010, the data show that in each and every one of the 26 major markets in which Altos Research tracks data, asking prices for homes fell.
  • The National Composite continues its declining trend, with a decrease of more than a full percentage point (1.06%).
  • Inventory, while still on the increase, seems to be slowing. Just 10 of 26 major markets showed increases last month. Inventory was down most significantly in Austin (8.01%), with the largest increase in Houston (up 4.87%).
  • The sharpest declines in asking prices for homes were seen in Phoenix (5.06%), Miami (3.11%), and Dallas (2.40%).

Home Price Trends

Continuing its downward trend, the Altos 10-City Composite fell again in August 2010.  Having fallen consistently from its peak in 2009, the index dipped 1.06% from July’s mark to $469,910. Since early Spring, we’ve seen gradual declines in asking prices on homes listed for sale, but those declines appear to be picking up steam.

Price decreases were most evident in Phoenix (down 5.06%) and Miami (down 3.11%), with notable decreases showing in Dallas (2.40%), Boston (2.21%), and Tampa-St. Petersburg (2.20%).  Historically, decreases have often been felt in the Fall and Winter months.  As weak markets have reared their heads nationwide this Summer, expect deepening increases as we head into Autumn.

Recently, there have been areas in which small increases in asking price have been noted.  These reflected, for the most part, external forces that were artificially inflating markets.  This was not the case in August 2010, however, as each and every market in which Altos Research tracks data showed marked decreases in price.

Housing Supply Trends

The data for August 2010 are curious.  Sweeping decreases in asking price indicate appeals to homebuyers aren’t proving effective. Home buyers aren’t buying.  Over the past several months, we’d seen a steady increase in housing inventory, but that has slowed somewhat.  This could be a sign that sellers are taking their homes off the market, or simply opting not to list them in the first place.  The market is showing clear signs of a lack in consumer confidence.

In August, 10 of 26 markets showed increases in housing inventory. Inventory was up most significantly in Houston (which posted the largest increase at 4.87%), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix.


The Altos Research Real-Time Housing Report gives you unfettered, up-to-the-minute data relative to housing market conditions in major markets around the nation.  With Altos’ report is comprised of data that can be used now, not aging, months-old statistics that mean nothing in a market that’s in a constant state of flux.  Altos Research uses metrics associated with active residential property listings to give you real-time information.  We give you the market as it is, not as it was.  Each “market” measured is equivalent to the Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) dominated by the city listed.  Properties analyzed in the data include repeat sales of single-family homes, but not condominiums, townhomes, or new construction homes.  The Altos Research Price Index is a statistical compilation of property prices highly correlated with the S&P/Case-Shiller Index.  The Altos 10-City Composite is based on single family homes in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Washington, DC and Denver.  For more information, check out http://www.AltosResearch.com.

About Altos Research

Altos Research, LLC is at the forefront of real-time real estate market research.  Founded in 2005, Altos’ pioneering technologies and information products serve investors, derivatives traders, as well as thousands of real estate professionals. The company publishes statistical reports and data analyses each week for over 15,000 zip codes in more than 150 metro markets around the county, including the 20 S&P/Case-Shiller markets summarized in this report.