Click for larger image
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, out today
, show that the U.S. housing market continued its downward price spiral late last year.
The 10-City composite index -- perhaps the most widely-used of the various indices included in the Case-Shiller universe -- posted an annual decline of 8.4 percent in November, a new record low according to Standard & Poor's. Annual price declines have now surpassed the levels seen in the early 1990s for the past two months. The previous largest price decline on record had been 6.3 percent, recorded in April 1991.
In November, the newer 20-City composite index recorded an annual decline of 7.7 percent, although S&P noted that limited history for the larger composite index makes comparisons more difficult across time.
â€œWe reached another grim milestone in the housing market in November,â€? says Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC. â€œNot only did the 10-City Composite post another record low in its annual growth rate, but 13 of the 20 metro areas, each with data back to 1991, did the same.
"If you look at the monthly figures, every MSA has now posted three consecutive monthly declines. Eight of these MSAs, in addition to the two composites, have had more than 12 consecutive months of falling prices. Fourteen of the 20 MSAs, in addition to the two composites, recorded their single largest monthly decline on record in November."
Miami remained the weakest major market tracked by the Case-Shiller indices, reporting a double-digit annual decline of 15.1 percent. San Diego followed with -13.4 percent, Las Vegas with -13.2 percent and Detroit with â€“13.0 percent.
Seven of the metro areas comprising the Case-Shiller posted double digit declines in their annual growth rates during November -- although Charlotte, Portland and Seattle are continuing to buck the trend, and posted positive annual growth during November.
For more information, visit http://www.standardandpoors.com