Most of the home price indices, such as those from Case-Shiller and FHFA, focus on single-family homes. The MLS data that I've typically posted here at divisionofhousing.com has also generally focused on single-family homes.
CoreLogic's home price index does include some information on attached housing as can be seen here. And, we'll now more regularly post MLS information on condos and townhomes as it becomes available.
Here I've presented the Realtor Association's MLS data for Colorado through August 2011.
In the first graph, we see that median prices for condos and townhomes have decreased consistently since the second half of 2006. Prices in the metro Denver and Pikes Peak regions are both down 19 percent from peak levels while prices statewide are down 47 percent. The larger decline in condos and townhomes is likely the result of sizable drops in condo and townhome prices in mountain communities over the last three years.
Prices in single-family homes, on the other hand, have not dropped so consistently in the markets examined here. In the case of single-family homes, and in the case of metro Denver especially, prices didn't show a downward trend until mid-2007. Prices then began to recover in early 2009. See here for more.
In the second graph, we see that the number of condo and townhome sales transactions are well below levels seen before 2008. Here, as with home prices, we see a deterioration in the market that began before the single-family markets began to show similar drop-offs.
It looks like overall, the total number of closings statewide will be about equal in 2011 compared to what it was during 2010. Closings are up slightly from 2009. Statewide there were 8819 closings from Janaury to August of this year, and 8826 closings during the same period last year. There were 8370 closings during 2009. (The distribution of sales among the different months is quite different from 2010 to 2011 due to the end of the homebuyer tax credits in April 2010.)
Metro Denver has fared slightly worse in closings, and 2011 is likely to end with fewer condo and townhome closings than during 2010. There were 5456 closings in metro Denver form January through August of this year. There were 5821 closings during the same period of last year, and 5747 during the same period of 2009.
The third graph shows the metro Denver median price in single-family homes vs the median price in condo/townhome prices. Obviously, the condo/townhome price is lower, and condo/townhome prices have tended to be about 60 percent of the single-family price.
Also, we can note that the median price in single-family homes has been largely flat since mid-2009 while it has continued to fall among condos and townhomes. As noted above, condo/townhome prices are down 19 percent from peak levels, although single-family prices in metro Denver are down only 10 percent.
There are also far fewer condo/townhome sales transactions than there are single-family transactions in most metro areas. In metro Denver, for example, single-family transactions are about 75%-80% of all transactions while condo/townhome transactions are generally about 20%-25% of all transactions.