Home Prices Fall by Two Percent Nationwide in Q1
Data through March 2012, released by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that all three headline composites ended the first quarter of 2012 at new post-crisis lows. The national composite fell by two percent in the first quarter of 2012 and was down 1.9 percent versus Q1of 2011. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective annual returns of -2.8 percent and -2.6 percent in March 2012. Month-over-month, their changes were minimal; average home prices in the 10-City Composite fell by 0.1 percent compared to February and the 20-City remained basically unchanged in March over February. However, with these latest data, all three composites still posted their lowest levels since the housing crisis began in mid-2006. In addition to the three composites, five cities—Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Portland—also saw average home prices hit new lows. This is an improvement over the nine cities reported last month. “While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This month’s report saw all three composites and five cities hit new lows. However, with last month’s report nine cities hit new lows. Further, about half as many cities, seven, experienced falling prices this month compared to 16 last time. The National Composite fell by two percent in the first quarter alone, and is down 35.1 percent from its second quarter 2006 peak, in addition to recording a new record low. The 10- and 20-City Composite mimic these results; also down about 35 percent from their relative peaks and hit new lows." In March 2012, 12 MSAs posted monthly gains, seven declined and one remained unchanged. Phoenix posted the largest annual rate of change, +6.1 percent, while home prices in Atlanta fell the most over the year, down 17.7 percent. Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas were the four cities where average home prices were below their January 2000 levels. With an index level of 102.77 Chicago is not far behind.