First American LoanPerformance said today that it will launch its own home price index, called TrueStandings. The new index will compete with other housing indices, including the S&P/Case-Shiller as well as Freddie Mac's own HPI. From the press release, an overview of the index:
TrueStandings HPI incorporates more than 30 years of repeat sales transactions representing more than 45 million observations sourced from a vast property information database owned by its parent company, First American CoreLogic. TrueStandings HPI provides a comprehensive set of monthly home price indices and median sales prices covering all states and the District of Columbia, 7373 zip codes, 956 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) and 640 counties. In addition, TrueStandings HPI provides multi-tier market evaluation based on price, time between sales, property type and loan type (conforming vs. non-conforming.) With TrueStandings HPI, users can monitor real estate trends by market, identify at-risk markets as they unfold, selectively evaluate markets by tier and fine tune investment strategies.
There appear to be some compelling aspects to this new index. The TrueStandings index is based on a repeat-sales methodology, but a key differentiating factor here is the shorter lead time -- the index will be produced monthly on a five-week lag, LoanPerformance said. With the exception of the Case-Shiller indices, most indices are produced quarterly; and the Case-Shiller numbers are produced monthly, but incorporate roughly an eight-week lag (the July numbers were just released today, for example). For those interested, learn more about the new index by clicking here. Although not mentioned in the press releae, another reason these indices came out likely lies in the emerging investor interest in housing futures -- the CME housing futures settle to a component of the S&P/Case-Shiller index, for example. I wouldn't be surprised to see the LP crew try and push enough adoption of this index to see it used to trade futures elsewhere -- there is certainly money to be made in doing so.