Housing prices are plunging across the country as inventory levels continue to grow and the real estate market continues to grind to a halt. Here's a look at how to track the housing price declines month by month and by area.
It's the most basic economic principle of them all, it all comes to supply versus demand. In the housing market of late there has been far too much in the way of supply and not nearly enough demand, causing some massive price decreases.
For years there was a real estate boom and it seems that many consumers felt that they couldn't possibly go wrong investing in a home that might have been above their means, but that has all come back to reality of late.
The Case Shiller Index is a great way to track housing prices throughout the country. The Case Shiller Indices are based on a three month average of data. A quick look at recent Case Shiller data shows that the largest declines in home values is in California as well as parts of Florida. In some parts of California house prices are now worth almost 50% less than they were less than two years ago. California housing prices have definitely taken the biggest hit.
Are you more interested in finding the precise value of homes right around you? A great way to look at these values is through a program like homevaluehunt.com. This site allows you to find houses nearby which have just sold to see what their worth was to buyers.
A more conventional way of finding out the demand in your area is to watch the listings in the paper and see if the homes in your area are able to sell at their originally listed price or if they have to lower the price multiple times. In this you'll see that the median housing price is definitely dropping quite drastically of late.
Home prices can vary a lot town by town, so get as close to your area as possible for an accurate look at the picture.
Realize that these values dropping don't hurt you nearly so much if you don't have to sell the home anytime soon and you are in good shape on mortgage payments.