S&P Housing Price Indices Continue To Decline — Mostly

The venerable Case-Shiller housing price index numbers are out today, and Calculated Risk beat me to it. Here’s the formal press release from Standard & Poor’s. The primary index was down 0.7% from Q4 2006 and down 1.4% from Q1 2006.

“The fall of the National Index into negative territory, after more than 15 years of positive annual growth, is a reaffirmation of the pullback in the U.S. residential real estate market,� says Robert J.Shiller, Chief Economist at MacroMarkets LLC. “The National Index was yielding solid returns as recently as a year ago. Q1 2006 growth rates were up 11.5% vs. Q1 2005, a sharp contrast to the returns we are seeing today.� Most U.S. cities are moving deeper into negative terrain. Detroit and San Diego are yielding the largest annual declines at 8.4% and 6.0%, respectively. But Phoenix and Las Vegas have had the sharpest drop from their peak. Phoenix had reported a growth rate of 49.3% in September 2005, and Las Vegas was up 53.2% in September 2004. The indices are now down 3.0% and down 1.6%, respectively.

Most interesting to me is that Seattle is bucking the trend — and strongly. The birthplace of grunge-rock is showing a robust +10% YOY return on prices, according to the index. And in the middle of a housing downturn, too.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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