Home prices slide
According to the S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the National Index, all have fallen to post-crisis lows as the “pace of decline in home prices moderates” as the first quarter ends and data through March 2012 is released.
Average home prices fell 2.6 percent over the year, hitting its lowest point since the summer of 2002. In 65 percent of cities tracked by the S&P Indices, average home prices fell from the year prior, and the overall composite has fallen 35 percent from its 2006 peak, according to the S&P.
Atlanta performed the worst, seeing a 17.7 percent slide in prices in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, Phoenix experienced the largest improvement, with a 6.1 percent increase in home prices in the last year, with Dallas, Denver, and Miami also posting improved numbers.
Mixed signals across the nation
“While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This month’s report saw all three composites and five cities hit new lows. However, with last month’s report nine cities hit new lows. Further, about half as many cities, seven, experienced falling prices this month compared to 16 last time.”
Blitzer added, “There are some better numbers: Only three cities – Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit – saw annual rates of change worsen in March. The other 17 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, even though most are still showing a negative trend. Moreover, there are now seven cities – Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix – where the annual rates of change are positive.”
“This is what we need for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change, said Blitzer. “Once we see this on a broader level we will be able to say the market has turned around.”