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Home Prices Continue to Fall, Near Double Dip

Home prices fell 3.3% year-over-year in February, according to the latest 20-city composite Home Price Indices data from Standard & Poor’s and Case-Shiller. The 20-city composite value is essentially where it was in its April 2009 trough, according to the index and prices for the 10- and 20-city composites are lower than they were a year ago but are still slightly above their April 2009 low.

The only city to see a year-over-year gain was Washington, D.C., which saw a 2.7% growth rate over February 2010. For the cities which had new lows in the previous month, 10 of 11 of those cities saw new loans again in February 2011.

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“There is very little, if any, good news about housing. Prices continue to weaken, trends in sales and construction are disappointing,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Ten of the 11 MSAs that recorded index lows in January fell further in February. The one exception, Detroit, is 30% below its 2000 price level. The 20-City Composite is within a hair’s breadth of a double dip. Fourteen MSAs and both Composites have continued to decline month-over-month for more than six consecutive months as of February.”

Cities that are now seeing home prices below their January 2000 levels include Atlanta, Cleveland, Las Vegas and Detroit, with Phoenix barely surpassing its 2000 level, according to Blitzer. Several cities including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York and San Diego have maintained large gains over their January 2000 levels.

“Recent data on existing-home sales, housing starts, foreclosure activity and employment confirm that we are still in a slow recovery,” Blitzer said. “Existing home sales and housing starts rose in March, but remain close to recent lows. Foreclosure activity showed decreases in mortgage delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2010, but are still close to historic highs. The nation and 34 states registered a decline in their unemployment rates for March.”

View the full S&P/Case-Shiller February report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

 

 

 

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