Industry News

Where’s the beef in home-price reports?

Part 2: Real estate sky is not falling

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(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1, "Put a gag on Chicken Little.") The Case-Shiller Index portrays itself as being "the leading measure of U.S. home prices," according to a Standard & Poor's press release from April. Given how much press the index receives, it may very well be the leader -- the leader in inaccuracy. Last week's article looked at the contradictory data from OFHEO (the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight), NAR and Realogy vs. the S&P/Case-Shiller Index. This week, we look at additional pitfalls that explain why the press should not rely exclusively on the S&P/Case-Shiller data. 1. Where's the beef? The S&P/Case-Shiller Index ignores huge chunks of data. Andrew Leventis, in a 2007 paper comparing the OFHEO approach to the S&P/Case-Shiller approach, explained the differences in the data in the following way: "According to the methodology materials, the S&P/Case-Shiller Index does not...