Case-Shiller Index

Feb 2020 (so referencing year-end 2019) puts

I’ve posted quotes at the CME for puts on the ten regional Case Shiller home price contracts (and the 10-city index) that expire in Feb 2020. Recall that these options will settle on the value of the Case Shiller index released that month, and that that index references data through year-end 2019.

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Reduce the stress of 100% rent vs 100% buy decision with bite-sized pieces

I imagine that one of the biggest challenges facing a first-time home buyer (and their real estate agent) is the binary leap from 100% rent to 100% buy. Such a jump is often the biggest financial decision that people have to make. With new homes costing $400-750,000 in certain markets, this is a decision that involves a multiple of annual income. How can the upcoming wave of Millennials get comfortable that they’re making the right decision when looking at homes?

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Should Boston over LA be 2 points?!? -Super Bowl special (IC spreads)

Yes, I’m going to pile on to social media efforts to capitalize on Super Bowl interest. Of course what I have in mind is here is getting readers to debate which side they prefer of the current pricing that has the CME Case Shiller BOS contracts outperforming the LAX contract (using the X20/ Nov 2020 expiration) by 2 (percentage) points. In addition I want to illustrate how one might look at intercity spreads, to new readers.

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Majority of regions tipping toward negative HPA in 2019, falling from there in 2020.

Quotes on CME Case Shiller home price index futures have tipped over toward being consistent with negative HPA in 2019 for five of the ten regions (NYM, CHI, LAX, SDG, and SFR). Of the other fiver regions none are much above zero HPA, with BOS, DEN, and WDC just below 1%. Only BOS and LAV are priced for more than 1% gains against today’s spot levels.

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The danger of fixating on YOY results

Many home price analysts noted that today’s Case Shiller indices continued to record year-on-year (“YOY”) gains. While YOY gains are a great way of addressing seasonal issues, and take on a more “over time” perspective, a fixation on YOY gains may hide turns in the market.

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OTC forwards and options for other regions

While the CME Case Shiller contracts cover many of the largest cities, I frequently get asked about hedging either other regions, or more narrowly defined geographic areas with the ten traded Case Shiller regions. I believe that, in concept, OTC trades can be structured between two willing, informed parties, that will allow a user to hedge any index, using forwards and options.

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Moving? A potential application of Inter-city (IC) spreads

Redfin recently published a great piece that detailed how some residents look beyond their local area for their next house. They noted that many many people in a region look at the same next cities (sorted both by in-state and out-of-state searches) with certain marked preferences. For example, many LA residents eye San Diego, New Yorkers frequently consider Boston, and Denver homeowners seem to covet Seattle’s low taxes.

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LAV -The quintessential region for home price index trading?

Las Vegas home prices have the tailwinds of population growth and the headwinds of accessing sustainable water supply, adding to the debate over future home price forecasts.

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