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Back to 1990s prices?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 17, 2012 06:21 AM

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Check out this Calculated Risk post on what's really happened with home prices.

The major real estate indexes - Case-Shiller and CoreLogic to name two - have been reporting that prices are back to 2002 and 2003 levels.

But account for inflation, and home prices in real terms have dropped all the way to 1998-2000 levels, Calculated Risk finds.

Basically, all the home price gains piled up during the reckless 2000s have vanished!

Certainly this is eye opening - it may also help explain why buyers are starting to get off the fence this spring after sitting on the sidelines for years.

I'll lift here directly from Calculated Risk.

In real terms, the (Case-Shiller) National index is back to Q4 1998 levels, the Composite 20 index is back to February 2000, and the CoreLogic index back to August 1999.

This may seem like bad news for sellers, but is it?

A market where homes are actually selling is far better than the alternative - gains on paper are meaningless unless you actually find a buyer.

Here's hoping that prices keep falling.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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