With a view to housing data recently, ~60% of the housing boom price gain has eroded (granted lots of regional variation). In Seattle, the Price / Rental ratio remains too high from my taste, however that may change. Were they to drop, vulture investors will take advantage of the market. I just need a way to monitor the market.

Craigslist provides an easy to parse interface. Really easy actually... Just drop that to a table in postgresql and we're off and running.

def craigslist(url, query=''): """ returns list of dict()s from url filter'd by query """ re_listing = re.compile('(([0-9]+)\.html"\>\$[0-9]+.*?\</a\>)') re_price = re.compile('[0-9]+\.html"\>\$([0-9]+)') prices = [] for line in urllib2.urlopen(url): for m in re_listing.finditer(line): d = { 'id': m.group(2) } if query not in m.group(1): continue for p in re_price.finditer(m.group(1)): d['price'] = p.group(1) prices.append(d) return prices