The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is a quarterly report that reflects the state of the residential housing market in 20 metropolitan regions as a three month average across the United States. It is the most relied upon index to gauge the state of the real estate market as a whole but keep in mind that real estate markets are extremely localized and that the micro view will give a much more accurate picture. This index is used for futures and options contracts in the Chicago Mercantile exchange and a shame that more Realtors do not utilize this great resource in their market evaluations.Some cities are still seeing rising prices in their market although few in number while the rest of the country has declined and numerous mortgage companies are shutting its doors. It’s still location, location, location and a little bit about the big picture. You can download these quarterly reports for free at the Standard & Poor’s Case-Schiller Website.