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

Case-Shiller released data this week for Phoenix that splits the price index into three price level indices.

This Case-Shiller index is the best data available for estimating actual appreciation (or depreciation). The downside to the Case-Shiller Index, however, is that it runs a little old, the most current data is only through October 2011.

Tier Breakpoints (October 2011)

  • Low Tier – Up to $95,898
  • Middle Tier – $95,898 – $168,948
  • High Tier – $168,948 and up

My comments from two months ago appear to have been too pessimistic.

All 3 home price levels tanked the last 6 months of last year after the $8,000 first-time home price tax break ended in June. I don’t expect to see anything like that to happen again this year.

Prices could drift lower the second half of this year but I’m thinking more “drift” than “fall” and certainly not “tank.”

The stronger home prices are from September through January (more accurately, the less weak prices are from September through January), the stronger home sale prices will be next February through June.

October Results

  • All three price levels increased in October, not normally a month for price increases in metro Phoenix.
  • The lowest price tier in metro Phoenix increased by 1.5% between September and October.
  • Phoenix was the only metro area to see an increase in home prices between September and October. (Case-Shiller follows 20 metro areas.)

It’s nice that Phoenix real estate is now occasionally setting positive records. It’s been awhile.