Home Prices Fall In Latest Index

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NEW YORK – New housing data released as part of Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index found that home prices fell 1.3% in October in its 20-city composite survey.

The annual growth rate in 18 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas surveyed in October showed declining prices. For October, all 20 cities reported falling prices. The composite reading is still above its spring 2009 lows, but six major markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland, Seattle and Tampa – hit their lowest levels since home prices began to fall in 2006 and 2007.

According to S&P, on a year-over-year basis, home sales are down more than 25% and the months’ supply of unsold homes is about 50% above 2010’s level. Housing starts remain near their 30-year lows. While delinquency rates have declined slightly, they remain well above their historical averages, both in prime and sub-prime markets.

The data show that foreclosure sales have contributed to recent upticks in home sales, with the index showing that as of October 2010, average home prices across the U.S. are back to the levels they were in mid 2003. Measured from June/July 2006 through October 2010, the peak-to-current declines for the 20-city composite average has fallen 29.6%. The improvement since the April 2009 trough is about 4.4%.


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