Home Prices Resume Decline in August: Report

With summer’s glow now long-gone, U.S. housing markets resumed a nationwide slide during August, according to a report released Tuesday morning. Integrated Asset Services, LLC, a provider of default management and residential collateral valuation, said that its IAS360 House Price Index for August 2008 found home prices off 11.6 percent from year-ago levels and down 0.2 percent from July’s totals. The IAS360 tracks home sales down to the neighborhood level, and then rolls up local total in 360 counties, nine census divisions, four regions, and the nation overall. “As the economy continues to weaken, everyone is watching the housing market for signs of a recovery,” says Dave McCarthy, president and CEO of Integrated Asset Services. They may be waiting for some time yet, according to the August data. At the broader census region level, results for August show three out of four U.S. census regions experiencing declines in home prices during August, with only the Northeast region continuing to show some improvement, up 1.3 percent compared to one month earlier. Home prices in the Western census region are now off 18 percent compared to year-ago levels. All nine census divisions posted declines year-over-year with Pacific and Mountain divisions maintaining double-digit declines; the Pacific division, which includes California, has seen prices fall 19.5 percent in the past year. Telling as well is a 1.0 percent drop in monthly home prices in the Pacific census division; this is a region that had seen prices stabilize somewhat during the traditional spring selling season. With spring’s glow now past, and the nation in the midst of a widening economic crisis, it may unfortunately be another year before home prices show any sort of stabilizing trend. And that’s anything but good news for an economy that’s already beaten and clearly bruised. Look at MSA and neighborhood-level home price data >> For more information, visit

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