Wikinvest Wire

Another record decline for home prices

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The January report(.pdf) for the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices shows both the 10-city and 20-city index once again making new record annual declines of 19.4 percent and 19.0 percent, respectively. Price indices for all 20 cities are shown below.
The top to bottom position on the right (corresponding to the order of the legend in the upper left to aid in viewing the data) saw a few changes last month, both Phoenix and Minneapolis moving down a notch or two.

As shown below, Phoenix maintained its leadership role in year-over-year price declines with an astonishing 35 percent plunge. Las Vegas and San Francisco are not far behind with declines of more than 30 percent as indicated in red and Miami may be ready to join that select group.

Minneapolis joined the ranks of 20+ percent annual decliners, moving from -18.4 percent to -20.4 percent in January. That group now numbers six as indicated in blue.
IMAGE What the heck is going on in Minneapolis with those back-to-back five percent month-to-month declines? That's the sort of thing you see in Phoenix and Las Vegas, but Minneapolis?

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, noted:

Home prices, which peaked in mid-2006, continued their decline in 2009. There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data. Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path, with all of the 20 metro areas reporting annual declines, and nine of the MSA’s falling more than 20% in the last year.

Indeed, the two composites are very close to that rate and have been reporting consecutive annual record declines since October 2007. The monthly data follows a similar trend, with the 10-City and 20-City Composite showing thirty consecutive months of negative returns.
You'd think that at least the pace of the price declines would slow, but it's not.


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