National housing prices dropped 32% from the peak in Q206 to trough in Q109 and rebounded 6.3% by the end of 2009, according to a Standard & Poor’s (S&P)/Case-Shiller home price index annual report. S&P chief economist David Wyss projects housing sales and starts to drop over the winter, but to remain well above their early 2009 lows, and to recover in the spring. Wyss projects 750,000 total housing starts in 2010, followed by an additional 1.18m housing starts in 2011. He also projects national house prices to decline 8% over the winter months. The S&P/Case-Shiller 10-city and 20-city composites peaked in June and July 2006, respectively and both troughed in April 2009. The 10-city composite fell 33.5% and appreciated 5.6% through the end of 2009, while the 20-city composite fell 32.6% and appreciated 5.3% by year’s end. The composite indices are still reporting year-over-year price declines. The 10-city and 20-city composites reported annual declines of 6.4% and 7.3%, respectively. In January 2009, 10-city composite declined 19.4% and the 20-city declined 19% year-over-year. While the national peak occurred in the summer of 2006, but regionally, the downturn in home prices began in late 2005 when home prices peaked in the Boston, Detroit, and San Diego markets, the report said. By January 2007, national home prices began their current three-year decline and hit a new record low in the indices 22-year history. Home prices are now at their autumn 2003 level [pictured below]. S&P/Case-Shiller’s findings come as Radar Logic’s latest report of house sales and average prices indicates the housing market may be poised for recovery in 2010. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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