RPX: The Housing Futures Market With a Transaction Count

After posting my entry

about house-price futures yesterday, a loyal reader tipped me off to another

entity dealing in such things here in the US: Radar

Logic’s RPX. Again, I have no idea how liquid these things are, but the

one thing they do have is a historical

data section on their website, where you can chart price per square foot

in any of 25 different metropolitan areas from Atlanta to Washington. The price

charts tend to be pretty much what you might expect: a long climb for most of

the decade, and then a turnaround more recently. But underneath the price chart

is something they call the "transaction count", which measures not

the price per square foot but the number of transactions taking place in the

market at that time. Here’s the chart for Miami:


Miami’s price per square foot hit a high of $207.94 in June 2006; it’s now

retreated almost 10% to $187.40, which is the same as its level in October 2005.

But back in October 2005, as you can see, the market was booming, with the transaction

count up around the 10,000 level; it peaked somewhere over 12,000. Today, the

transaction count is closer to 3,000, and falling. They’re never going to clear

their excess inventory at that rate.

Oh, and in case you find such datapoints useful, the one-year forward average

national house price is about 11.25% lower than the current price of $262.86

per square foot.

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