Home prices continue to fall and continue to point to double dip in housing market

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

Today the S&P/Case-Shiller Index report for February was released showing home prices continue to fall and that the housing housing market continues to head toward a double dip in home prices. The report shows their 20-city composite home price index declined by 1.1 percent from the month before and declined by 3.3 percent from a year ago.

The report shows the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, for February is at 139.27, which is a decrease of 1.1 percent from the month before and a decrease of 3.3 percent from the year before. This marks the seventh consecutive month of decreases in the 20-city composite and the index is now at the lowest level since April 2009.

There is very little, if any, good news about housing. Prices continue to weaken, while trends in sales and construction are disappointing,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Ten of the 11 MSAs that recorded index lows in January fell further in February. The one exception, Detroit, is 30% below its 2000 price level. The 20-City Composite is within a hair’s breadth of a double dip. Fourteen MSAs and both Composites have continued to decline month-over-month for more than six consecutive months as of February.”
“Atlanta, Cleveland and Las Vegas join Detroit as cities with home prices below their 2000 levels; and Phoenix is barely above its January 2000 level after a new index low. The one positive is Washington D.C. with a positive annual growth rate, +2.7%, and home prices more than 80% over its January 2000 level. Other cities holding on to large gains from 11 years ago include Los Angeles (68.25%), New York (65.19%) and San Diego (55.05%).”

“Recent data on existing-home sales, housing starts, foreclosure activity and employment confirm that we are still in a slow recovery. Existing home sales and housing starts rose in March, but remain close to recent lows. Foreclosure activity showed decreases in mortgage delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2010, but are still close to historic highs. The nation and 34 states registered a decline in their unemployment rates for March.”

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