Real-time indicator of local housing prices?

Props to
Dean Foust

Props to "Wes" on our active "Washington DC bubble" thread for pointing out a neat web site, HousingTracker, that attempts to provide a real-time indicator of housing price trends in 49 leading markets, including Miami, San Francisco and Atlanta. Not content to wait for the quarterly housing reports from the local chapters of the National Association of Realtors, the founder of HousingTracker, 27-year-old New Yorker Ben Engebreth, decided to produce an index for each of these 49 markets using asking prices on the Multiple Listing Service as an early proxy for eventual sale prices (the idea being that asking prices serves as an indicator of how bullish or bearish sellers are). HousingTracker also provides the 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th percentile asking price for the metro areas covered, so you can see whether there's particular pressure on the high-end and low-end corners of the market. The site also tracks inventory levels, though I'm undecided on whether that indicator is as reliable.

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