The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for December 2008 and it showed that decline in the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index – which covers all nine U.S. census divisions – recorded an 18.2% decline in the 4th quarter of 2008 versus the 4th quarter of 2007, the largest in the series’ 21-year history. The 10-City and 20-City Composites also set new records, with annual declines of 19.2% and 18.5%, respectively. The seven worst performing cities in terms of year-over-year declines continue to be from the Sunbelt and popular retirement areas, reporting negative returns in excess of 20%. Phoenix was down 34.0%, Las Vegas reported -33.0% and San Francisco fell 31.2%. Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Boston faired the best in terms of annual declines down 4.0%, 4.3%, 6.1% and 7.0%, respectively.
“The broad downturn in the residential real estate market continues,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index committee at Standard & Poor’s. “There are very few, if any, pockets of turnaround 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 eight of those MSA’s now with negative rates exceeding 20%. If one looks in detail at the annual return data, it can be seen that 13 of the 20 MSA’s and the two composites have been reporting consecutive record declines since December 2007. The monthly data follows a similar trend, with all of the metro areas reporting at least four consecutive months of negative returns.”
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