FHFA: House prices show hardest fall since 2008
National house prices fell 2.5% in the first quarter from the previous period, the largest quarterly drop since the last three months of 2008, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA analyzes the mortgage records for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to track average house price changes. Over the past year, prices fell 5.5%. In March, prices dropped 0.3% from the prior month and remain almost 20% below the peak in April 2007. For the first quarter, prices dropped in 43 states and in all nine Census Bureau divisions. All 25 of the metro areas tracked by the FHFA experienced drops during the quarter ,as well. The steepest came in the San Diego area, where prices fell more than 7% in the quarter. Several house price indices across the country have already called a double-dip in the housing market as the inventory of distressed and vacant properties lingers. For a breakdown of the state price changes see the chart below. "In many local real estate markets, particularly those hit hard by this cycle, foreclosures and other distressed properties are still a key factor in recorded and anticipated future sales and may be delaying price stability or recovery. Fortunately, serious delinquency rates also are declining," said FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.