Home prices nationally declined by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 after having fallen 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and have now regressed to their mid-2002 levels, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released this morning. As of March 2011, 19 of the 20 metro areas covered by the index were down compared to March 2010 (Washington, D.C., was the lone bright spot), and 12 metro areas posted new index lows in March.
The 20-City Composite also posted new index lows in March, with an index value of 138.16 (April 2009 was the previous low of 139.26). Minneapolis posted a 10 percent annual decline, the first market to hit a double-digit decline since March 2010 when Las Vegas was down 12 percent on an annual basis.
“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation. The National Index, the 20-City Composite and 12 MSAs all hit new lows with data reported through March 2011. The National Index fell 4.2% over the first quarter alone, and is down 5.1% compared to its year-ago level. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.
“Since December 2010, we have found an increasing number of markets posting new lows. In March 2011, 12 cities — Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and Tampa — fell to their lowest levels as measured by the current housing cycle. Washington, D.C., was the only MSA displaying positive trends with an annual growth rate of +4.3% and a 1.1% increase from its February level.