Home Prices vs. Home ValuesInteresting article about housing.On June 3, Standard and Poor's issued the latest update to its Case-Shiller Home Price series.The press release begins, "Data through March 2011 ... show that the U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010. The National Index hit a new recession low with the first quarter's data and posted an annual decline of 5.1% versus the first quarter of 2010."Then comes the key statement: "Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels."This means that on the average, a home in the U.S. that was purchased for $200,000 in mid-2002 would have sold for about the same price two months ago. So after owning the home for almost nine years, you could sell it and break even – no capital gain nor loss, and all of the cash you originally invested would be returned to you.But the dollars returned are not the same dollars that were invested! The U.S. dollar of mid-2002 could buy a lot more than the spring 2011 model... A barrel of crude oil cost $27 then, but about $100 now. A gallon of gasoline was $1.43 then, but $3.90 now. To purchase a shopping basket of food totaling $88 in mid-2002 would now ring the register for $232. An ounce of gold was around $315 back then, but over $1,400 at the end of Q1 2011!So that house may have the same dollar price, but it does not have the same value.July 07 2011 - US00YesReport a ProblemProblemSelect oneOffensive contentIrrelevant contentSpam (pure self-promotion)OtherDetailsYour emailPlease enter a valid email address.Submit CancelContent flaggedWe will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.