A couple of days ago, Radar Logic’s RPX housing futures index went live.
What does it do? The index gives you an idea of where the national real estate market is today. It uses recent past sales to gauge what will happen in the near future.
Or, as they put it:
The Radar Logic Daily Index is a single, statistically accurate value representing the price per square foot paid in a defined metropolitan area on any given day. Data is gathered from public source records and then translated by our proprietary algorithms into an accurate reflection of the values paid in actual arms-length real estate transactions.
RPX includes condo and co-op sales (as well as single-family sales) and also original sales (from developers) and resales. It includes data from 24 metropolitan areas throughout the US.
There are two other indexes, each more-well known, but they have their own weaknesses.
From the Herald / Washington Post:
OFHEO [U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight] reviews homes bought or refinanced using mortgages purchased by industry giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
However, it omits condo refinancings, as well as transactions involving â€œjumboâ€? loans or mortgages
Case-Schiller index covers the full gamut of mortgages, including the limited-documentation and subprime loans that caused such problems recently.
But unlike OFHEO, Case-Schiller excludes all refinancings. It also has limited or zero data from 42 U.S. states, because of either legal restrictions or a lack of electronic records from local courthouses.
So, as a consumer, which one should you follow?
Why, all of them, of course!
The indexes are just more information. Read as much as you can, then make your decision.
More: A tale of two housing-price indexes – By Kenneth R Harney, The Washington Post, by way of The Boston Herald
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