Industry News

Housing derivatives market draws pro investment crowd

Broker addresses questions about futures trading in real estate

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Since May 2006, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has offered futures contracts and options based on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. Futures and options currently are traded on indices for a composite index, and the 10 markets included in that composite are: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The following is an interview with Fritz Siebel, director of property derivatives at Tradition Financial Services. TFS is an executing broker of CME housing futures and OTC housing swaps and options for longer trade durations. Q: How accurate have these markets been in predicting future housing-price levels over the last year? Do they tend to be overly pessimistic or optimistic? A: The futures contracts have an overall good predictive quality to them. While the futures contracts called the housing market lower since last summer, the L.A. and Miami one-year futures overshot the actual lower index re...