The website Paper Economy has created a tool that purports to tell you how much your house is worth. All you have to tell it is what metro area you’re in, what you paid, and when you bought. The tool then looks up data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for your metro area and generates a chart showing the ups and downs of your home’s price since the day you bought. Try it here.
To me, this is mostly for entertainment value. It doesn’t take into account any changes in your house since you bought it, such as remodeling. And it doesn’t consider price trends in your own neighborhood, which could be far different from the ones in the overall metro area. Not to mention that there are S&P/Case-Shiller indexes for only 20 metro areas. (Billings, Jacksonville, and Juneau are out of luck.)
Still, if you’re obsessed by the housing market, it’s worth checking out sometime. You can never get too much of this stuff.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.