From the WSJ:
Home prices have been growing at a rate that some see as alarming—about twice the rate of wages. But adjusting for inflation, the market still has a long way to go before returning to the frothy state of a decade ago.
Most measures of home prices—including the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the CoreLogic Home Price Index and the National Association of Realtors existing home sales report—don’t take inflation into account and show prices nearing or surpassing the peak hit in 2006 or early 2007.
But a new analysis by real-estate information firm CoreLogic finds that when adjusted for inflation, home prices are years away from hitting the lofty heights of the housing boom. Indeed, economists there say that prices are unlikely to surpass 2006 levels until 2023 or beyond, some 17 years past the peak.
“It’s a slow recovery in housing,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. The rise and fall in prices without adjusting for inflation matter for existing homeowners because they determine whether or not they are underwater on their mortgages. The rapid run-up in prices in recent years has made it easier for people to sell their homes because they no longer owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth.
As of September 2015, CoreLogic’s Home Price index was 7% below its April 2006 peak, not adjusted for inflation. Prices fell 32% from that peak to the trough in March 2011.
But adjusted for inflation, the bust looks far worse. In September 2015, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index was still 20% below the peak in March 2006. It dropped 41% from that peak to the trough in February 2012.