Blind Spots to Consider When Using Case-Shiller Data

A recent critique of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index has sparked a discussion within the real estate industry about the relevance of traditional data tracking methods. The Case-Shiller Index, a widely used measure of home prices in the U.S., has been called into question by a post from Parcl Labs, a data provider challenging established norms.

The Case-Shiller Index, developed by economists Karl Case, Robert Shiller, and Allan Weiss in the late 1980s, is based on the concept of repeat sales, tracking individual house prices over time rather than just the prices of houses sold in a period. While considered a benchmark for housing and economic trends, the index has faced criticism for its two-month lag in data and exclusions of certain home types and sales.

Parcl Labs argues that Case-Shiller’s methodology is outdated and lacks utility in today’s housing market. The data provider points out issues such as backward-looking data, exclusion of certain sales, and broad geographical boundaries in its indices. Despite this, some experts believe that Case-Shiller remains a reliable and transparent source for price changes in the housing market.

Parcl Labs aims to create a new global standard for residential real estate pricing and analytics by offering daily value and trend insights based on market conditions. While challenging traditional methods, the industry remains divided on whether a new standard is necessary or if existing sources like Case-Shiller continue to serve their purpose effectively.

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