Home prices in the United States continued their downward spiral in March according to the S&P Case-Shiller home-price indexes. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 19.1% drop from a year earlier, the biggest quarterly decline for the reading’s 21-year history. With this move down, home prices are now at price levels that compare to the end of 2002. In terms of annual declines, the three worst performing MSAs continue to be the same three from the Sunbelt, each reporting negative returns in excess of 30%. Phoenix was down 36.0%, Las Vegas declined 31.2% and San Francisco fell 30.1%.
“Declines in residential real estate continued at a steady pace into March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “All 20 metro areas are still showing negative annual rates of change in average home prices with nine of the metro areas having record annual declines. Seventeen metro areas recorded a monthly decline in March, with Minneapolis, Detroit and New York posting record monthly declines. On a positive note, nine of MSAs are reporting a relative
improvement in year-over-year returns and nine of the 20 metro areas saw an improvement in their monthly returns compared to February. Furthermore, this is the second month since October 2007 where the 10- and 20-City Composites did not post a record annual decline. Based on the March data, however, we see no evidence that that a recovery in home prices has begun.”