Homes Prices Drop 2.6% to New Post-Crisis Lows – Updated


After reading the story, check the updates. Your head might spin.

In February and March, prices were up for the first time in seven months. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index showed that prices increased in 12 of the 20 cities it tracks.

Unfortunately and despite that,  the quarter ended with new lows since the housing crisis with prices down more than 2%.

Tampa and Miami were the hardest hit. Las Vegas, with the nation’s worst housing market, remains unchanged.

Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta suffered sharp declines.

Prices increased in Tampa and Miami — two of the hardest hit markets.

Let’s hope for a busy spring but it is safe to say that the housing “recovery” is slow and fragile.

Source:  S & P

Update at 17:46 –

If you go to Reuters, this story reads – “U.S. home prices rise but consumer confidence cools.”  The misleading story emphasizes the two months of increases and mentions a slowing down in May. Reuters never gets around to the truth, which is that the quarter ended with prices down 2+%. Instead they give the impression that prices are up.

USA Today has a similar headline – “Home prices rise in most major U.S. cities.” The story goes much the same way as the Reuters story and the other lamestream media stories.

This is what S & P actually said –

29-May-2012 09:00

Data through March 2012, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that all three headline composites ended the first quarter of 2012 at new post-crisis lows.

CNN Money, to their credit,  said this –

Home prices hit new post-bubble lows in March, according to a report out Tuesday.

Average home prices were down 2.6% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets. Home prices have not been this low since mid-2002…

This is from the WSJ –

…U.S. home prices fell in March, ending the first quarter at the lowest levels since the housing crisis began in mid-2006, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home-price indexes.

During the first quarter, home prices reached new lows, falling 2% sequentially and 1.9% year-to-year. Prices are down roughly 35% from their peak in the second quarter of 2006.

The Case-Shiller index of 10 major metropolitan areas was down 2.8% in March from a year earlier. The 20-city index was off 2.6%. Month to month, the declines were 0.1% for the 10-city index, while the 20-city prices were basically unchanged.

As of March average home prices were at levels reached in late 2002 for the 20-city measure and early 2003 levels for the 10-city composite.

Demand for homes has been showing some signs of stabilization, as low mortgage rates, some loosening of credit conditions and improved job growth have pulled some buyers back to the market.

However, “while there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned” said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. Despite some better numbers in the latest period, “since we are entering a seasonal buying period, it becomes very important to look at both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices in order to understand the broader trend.”…

Nationally, according to the S & P, home prices are at their mid-2002 levels. Click here for the S & P charts.