Home Prices Still Falling as Houses Continue to Sit on the Market: Altos
The median home listing price declined 1.3% in the Altos Research 10-city composite, continuing a seven-month-long run of declining list prices in February. And even though the listing time is generally decreasing, for-sale houses still tend to go unsold for the first 100 days. The 10-city home price composite index was $479,781 in February 2010, up from the January 2009 bottom of $470,017, but down 5.75% from last year’s peak of $509,030 in July. All of the 26 markets Altos Research studies experienced a month-over-month listing price decrease, ranging from a the smallest, a 0.2% decline in Miami, to a 4.4% decrease in San Francisco. Early indicators of pricing show that monthly price declines will be somewhat abated by the normal spring selling season, Altos Research said, but due to the impending end of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program and the deadline to sign a contract to receive the homebuyer tax credit, Altos added that its price index may retrace its 2009 lows before it turns up in the spring and summer months. As HousingWire reported, there is some talk that the tax credit could be extended again if housing stalls. Inventory was up 8.3% from January in the 10-city composite, as well as in 24 of 26 markets. In Salt Lake City, inventory was down 2.1%, Detroit was flat, and San Jose saw the biggest increase in listing inventory, up 18.6% from January to February. But the national inventory is still 10% lower than it was in February 2009. All but two markets had a median listing time of 100 or more days. The 10-city composite had a median of 166 days, down 3.7% from 172 days in January. San Francisco’s median was 86 days, down from 94 in January and San Jose had a median of 99 days, down from 102 the previous month. Chicago, at 220 days, had the longest median. Every market except Las Vegas and Salt Lake City saw their median decrease from January to February. In Las Vegas, the median was up to 136 from 134 and in Salt Lake City, the median was 134, up from 132. The Altos Research study includes existing single-family homes and does not measure condos, town homes or new construction. Each market measured uses results from Census Bureau Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). The Altos 10-city composite gauges single-family homes in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Denver. Write to Austin Kilgore.