IRVINE, CA-Learning not to focus on the little blips, but instead to study general trends in home pricing is the key to understanding where the market is going, Peter Muoio, chief economist with, tells Muoio cautions not to get caught up in ups and downs over short periods of time, but to look at overarching trends over months or years to get a true sense of how the market is doing.

“We look at all the indexes—Case-Shiller, FHFA, National Association of Realtors and others—and we have the advantage of looking at the price data of the auctions as they’re completed,” Muoio says. “The data you’re getting from the indexes is the price that was settled upon between the buyer and seller months earlier, the point at which the price of the house is recorded in the county clerk’s office. So, when you’re looking at home prices, in effect you’re looking in a rear-view mirror.”

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