Chart fun: Declining Real Estate Values

Recently on a few blogs around town, there was a mention of the Prestige Home Index, and there was (is) continually a hullabaloo about declining home values in California and the nation. Here’s the graph:

Forget for a minute the exact parameters of this graph and assume it is an average depiction of home price increases since 1985 (basically don’t look at the prices on the left). You have to agree, you can pretty much pick your price range and it is a decent indicator of home values, in general, in California. (For California Median Prices since 1968, you’ll see these charts match up pretty well.)

Now the fun part…can someone please show us a legitimate graph of home values for San Francisco, or the Bay Area, or California, or the Nation, hell you might as well make it the world for that matter, that looks like this?

Here’s a hint: Ask your parents or grandparents what they paid for their first home.

About the Prestige Home Index []

16 thoughts on “Chart fun: Declining Real Estate Values

  1. That chart shows a YoY volume gain, Jay. You have to go back to July 2006 to see more volume. And I question the median price slide too. If you put a fine point on it, SFRs versus condos, area 10 versus area whatever, it doesn’t stand up.

    Yeah, a lot of condos have hit the market. That’s pretty much what that chart shows.

  2. Jay,

    You think he can keep that graph going down for the next 20-25 years?. That’s what we’re asking for. Somebody, somewhere to show us a 20-25 year graph that mimics the one we photoshopped. If you’ve got it, even if ss does, we’d love to see it.


    We knew someone would provide a mortgage rate chart that mimics ours. Thanks!

  3. Alex, I’m still looking. I’m looking at berlin realestate prices 60s-90s. (or any germany chart)

    I havent found yet. but it might be one of the most significant chart with or without inflation taken into account.

    the first chart was somewhat interesting anyway. factoring inflation.

    like if any tech wiz could use a standard RE san francisco chart and change the scale to put the prices in euros from 95 till 08. That could be fun to see.

    is my condo in paris going thru the roof in dollars? or is my house in SF going to the basement in euros?

    however, it cannot be more than a joke as RE is linked to the currency and the land it’s in, and the local incomes and mortgages (fortunatly or unfortunatly)

  4. Saw two houses today after a nice bike ride.

    333 Avila St. for $2.895 mil – Not sure if this will get asking even though Avila St. is hot.

    2737 Clay St. – $3.45. This place was awesome with great scale. I bet this gets in contract this Fri and sells for over $3.65 mil. Needs new roof and foundation work, and has old kitchen and bathrooms. Plan calls for $1.25mil in upgrades…. Still.


    2423 Filbert St – wondering what this closes for

    2561 Chestnut St. – donno

  5. anon. rents shouldnt be inflation ajusted.

    rents are part of disposable income, and should be mesured as such. something like. % of – or the “1990=100” and a red line going forward as income and a blue line going forward as rent. (and cost of living in green)

  6. So rents have risen FASTER or slower than inflation? This is a pertinent question. If rents have risen FASTER than inflation, while home prices have risen FASTER than inflation, then it is better to own a home no?

  7. anon. is this a general question? or a question restricted to san francisco?

    if it’s restricted to san francisco, are you taking into account RentControl or not?

    if there should be a cookie-cutter answer:

    if you are a renter (rent control) in SF – there is not even a shadow of a doubt that rent is the way to go (for 20+ years at the same spot).

    If you are not in a controled rental but is absolutly sure to stay put 20+ years in the same spot – no doubt buying is the way to go.

    In between – it “depends” ;-)

    The other cookie cutter answer is that speculation is SPECULATION – some win and some loose

    or to quote the love of my life: any investment has some chances to be a good one – but once people invest in that market to speculate it’s only days before the market collapses. So the trick is to sniff/find speculation and stay away from it. The day this or that nanomarket in SF becomes the speculation ground – bail out by selling to a speculator (and hopefully make a small but REAL profit), and pass him the certain future of loss.

    (or the opposite: if you have some disposable money [as in you can loose it without deadly bleeding] jump in the speculation ring, and may the best poker player win!)

  8. I definitely think staying in the same rent controlled apartment from 23-43 yrs old is the way to go. Save much more money this way! You’re absolutely right Sophie! No beating the quality of rent controlled apartments.

  9. Sophie – Just wondering what do you do for a living? I for one wouldn’t be happy to miss out on making hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 10 years while still renting the same crappy apartment when I was 10 years younger!

    Life is too short to keep renting a crappy place!

  10. Missionite – You can tell that Timber is being facetious? I for one can’t imagine renting in my 30rs after 8 years of working. Well, maybe the cut off is 33 if I got a graduate degree.

    I have started wondering if i’m a complete failure that i cannot put enough down (20%+) to buy a home for my own, and my family after 8+ years of working.

    Unlike my fellow 40 Yr Old Renter at SS, i REFUSE to spend $3,500/month on rent, let alone $3,000+/rent.. so i suffer with my somewhat dilapidated place.

    We need affordable housing for ALL in SF, and not just the well educated, risk takers who did well in school and landed good jobs!


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