Home prices fell to post-recession lows in the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national indices. Home values in nine metro areas also reached record lows, the report said.
S&P said its 10-city composite index experienced an annual home price decline of 3.6% in February, while the 20-city composite index declined 3.5% from a year earlier.
This is a slight improvement from January when the indices declined 4.1% and 3.9%, respectively, year-over-year.
“While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices.
“Nine MSAs — Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa — hit new post-crisis lows. Atlanta continued its downward spiral, posting its lowest annual rate of decline in the 20-year history of the index at -17.3%.”
The Atlanta metro area suffered the worst, experiencing a year-over-year home price decline of 17.3%.
Five metros did see positive annual returns, including Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix.
Blitzer added, “Atlanta has now recorded five consecutive months of double-digit negative annual rates and seven consecutive monthly declines. On the other hand, Phoenix has posted two consecutive months of positive annual rates, with its latest being positive 3.3%, and five consecutive positive monthly returns.”