The doldrums in the U.S. housing market continued during February, according to the Case-Shiller home price indices released Tuesday morning by Standard & Poor's. The widely-watched housing price data series found that the decline in prices of existing single-family homes across the U.S. worsened during the second month of the year, with 17 or 20 metropolitan statistical areas tracked by the series posting record low annual declines.
Case-Shiller, Feb 2008
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The 10-city composite index posted a new record low annual decline of 13.6 percent, S&P said, and the 20-city composite recorded an annual decline of 12.7 percent. "There is no sign of a bottom in the numbers," says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. "Prices of single family homes continue to drop across the nation. All 20 metro areas were in the red for the February - over - January reading. In addition, 19 of the 20 MSAs are still reporting negative annual returns." Every MSA tracked -- from Atlanta to Washington, DC -- has posted six consecutive months of price declines going back to September 2007. Las Vegas and Miami continue to sahre the dubious distinction of being the weakest national housing markets over the past 12 months, returning -22.8 and -21.7 percent, respectively. Not surprisingly, these two markets also witnessed some of the fastest growth in the 2004/2005 periods, with annual growth rates peaking above +50 and +30 percent. During Feburary, however, it was markets in the West that felt the most heat. San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles were the nation's worst performing markets on a monthly basis. Each posted a drop in prices greater than 4 percent between January and Feburary alone. The lone market in the black on a rolling 12-month basis is Charlotte -- but, like every other MSA tracked, the MSA has posted six consecutive months of negative returns. For more information, visit