S&P Dow Jones Indices offers information for hundreds of indices on our website, but two in particular drive a large portion of our traffic: the S&P 500 and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

It’s easy to understand why people would be searching for the S&P 500. By using this popular index and the financial products tied to it, you can measure your portfolio’s relative performance, invest in the equity market, hedge against risk, and even lever up your exposure.

And what can you do with the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices? Well, up to now, exactly this: see how much aggregate home prices have gone up or down.

You may wonder why the S&P 500 is presently so much more useful than the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. It comes down to the fact that investment companies can buy, hold, and sell the shares that make up the S&P 500. This allows investable products to exist.

But what can be done with an index that is made up of single, residential homes that are privately held for long periods? So far, the answer has been “not much,” but this is changing.

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