NYT: Home Prices in Selected Cities


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Our information graphics team does a lot of terrific interactive charts at NYTimes.com, but this one is particularly effective: a simple and somewhat bone-chilling look at how housing prices have fallen in twenty major American cities since 2000.

  1. They certainly do an amazing job. It’s very interesting to see the cities that had a meteoric rise in home price followed by a drop that was almost straight down, compared to other cities that rose slightly and dipped slightly.

    I’d love to see them do another chart, simply adding a red line of the average household income over that same time period. I think that would be very telling of where things went horribly wrong over the last 20 years.

  2. I love interactive graphs like this.

    I’ve got to admit, as someone who plans on buying his first home in the next year or two, this one actually makes me happy. Even better, Portland is behind the curve, so I have a little more time.

  3. I wish there were more cities in this feature.

    It seems like it would have been easy to dump in the top 100 largest cities after they had the graphing component written.

  4. This is well done, for what it is, but it doesn’t give me enough information to see if it really is showing “how housing prices have fallen in twenty major American cities since 2000”. That’s because what’s shown isn’t the price, but the year-on-year change in price (the first derivative of the price, if you prefer).

    So for example, for Chicago, that’s about six years of 10% growth (overall, a factor of 1.1 to the power six) followed by two years of 10% fall (0.9 squared). So a house worth $100,000 in 2001 would now be worth about $145,000.

    Admittedly, it’s dropped from its peak (of about $177,000, at the end of 2006), but that doesn’t mean property has lost value over the entire eight-year period. Chicago is also fairly close to the average, so I maintain that, while it looks nice, this visualisation actually draws you to a view that might not be entirely justified.

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