Housing prices are up since 2001

A baritone sings the highs and woes of the housing market on NPR’s Planet Money. The 20-city composite data from March 2001 – February 2011 show that on average, U.S. home prices have actually gone up. Tune in here to the operatic version of the Case-Shiller Index by Timothy McDevitt, a graduate student at Julliard.

Over the past decade, the final note is audibly higher than the first, showing that home prices are up since March of 2001. Miami, one of the hardest-hit real estate markets, experienced explosive growth; since the 2007 peak, prices have dropped by about 50%. In contrast, Dallas prices remained slow and steady.

In the 1980s, economists Karl Case and Robert Shiller developed what is now known as Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price indices, calculated from data on repeat sales of single-family homes for the nine U.S. census regions. The 10-city composite measures the Home Index for 10 major metropolitan areas, and the 20-city composite reflects numbers for 20 metro areas.