Chart to Emphasize the Rise in Home Prices

So, you work for a small bank, credit union, or a mortage related firm, and the CEO asks you for a chart to show the Board what is going on with home prices. You could use several ways (line charts, bar charts, etc.) to show the big rise this year in home prices, but this one caught my eye.  It breaks out home prices monthly for the last five years.

I used the median price for California homes, provided by the California Association of Realtors. You would obviously use prices of interest to your firm.

One advantage to this type of chart is that you don’t need seasonal monthly adjustments. For example, with this data it is obvious that after August (due to school starting), prices typically take a dip or flatten out.

Also, it shows that home prices in 2020 dipped below both 2019 and 2018 levels in May.

The chart shows the dramatic breakout in prices starting in the second half of 2020 and continuing into 2021.

To chart data, which typically comes in two columns (dates and prices), it is easier to chart months (text) in one column and the other columns of dates and prices:

Offset formulas are in the blue cells to transfer the data in columns to data that is easier to chart. Each blue cell (above) is the same except the 12 in the first formula is replaced with 24 in the second formula and so on in multiples of 12. It is more obvious when you see the spreadsheet.

Formatting the chart looks like this:







Don Pistulka

Retired Credit Union CFO - Finance
Background: over 40 years in investments, asset/Liability management, banking, securities trader.
Worked for: California Credit Union, WesCorp, CalFed S&L, Crocker Bank, Carroll McEntee, Federal Home Loan Bank Board (D.C.), Western Asset Management, Security Pacific National Bank.

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