(See recent posts on Phoenix Case-Shiller Home Price Index.)

The Case-Shiller Housing Index is the most accurate dataset of home prices, however, it is slow. The median home price, which is less accurate, comes out about 6 weeks before the Case-Shiller data.

Phoenix Housing Price Index

Following the August sub-prime “meltdown” and the tightening of lending standards even for prime borrowers, the September price depreciation in metro Phoenix was 1.74 percent which is a huge decline for one month.

The large decline isn’t a surprise. Last month I wrote here, “… we know from already released median home price data that September will show a sharper price decline. It’s very likely to be above 1%. The “sub-prime meltdown” in August will be reflected in the September index.”

The largest previous monthly decline in this cycle was in February 2007 when the decline was 0.98 percent. From the peak in July 2006, metro Phoenix prices have declined 9.74 percent according to the Case-Shiller Index.

Looking at the previously released median home price numbers for Phoenix, October could see a decline in the same ballpark as the September decline. If that is the case, that might signal an acceleration of depreciation.

It’s looking like 2008 will be an exciting year!