Home prices fell a staggering 3.5% nationwide in January, the worst monthly decline since the housing crisis began, according to a report scheduled for release today.
Prices declined in each of the top 20 metropolitan areas tracked by Integrated Asset Services LLC, a default management firm in Denver. The biggest declines were in San Francisco, where prices fell 6.4%, and Miami, where they dropped 5.6%.
The 10 counties with the largest home price declines were all in California or Florida, Integrated Asset Services said.
Home prices in San Joaquin County, which includes Stockton, Calif., have fallen 59.9% from their peak in mid-2006. The next-biggest declines were in two Florida counties: Pasco, where they have dropped 57.3% from their peak, and Lee, where they have dropped 56.7%.
Many of the wealthiest counties in the country have not been insulated from price declines, according to the report. Prices have dropped 37.6% from their peak in Prince William County, Va., and 17.8% in Montgomery County, Md.
“We’re seeing house prices plummet at a rapid pace throughout the country,” said Dave McCarthy, Integrated Asset Services’ president and chief executive.
The Midwest is beginning to bear the brunt of the economic turmoil, according to the report. Home prices there fell 4.5% in January, compared with drops of 3.5% in the West, 3.4% in the South and 3.3% in the Northeast.
Since the peak of the housing market, home prices have fallen 30.3% in the West, 22.7% in the South, 18.9% in the Midwest and 16.7% in the Northeast.
Integrated Asset Services’ home price indexes measure monthly changes in median sales prices for single-family homes.