The Standard & Poors Home Price Index for the US in January is now published and shows an 11.4% drop in January from a year earlier, the largest annual drop since the index was started in 1987.
S&P ' s comments highlight ;
•All 20 cities are down month to month for the last five months
•Only one –Charlotte, NC –is up over the last 12 months
•10 of 20 are down by double digits in the last 12 months
•Ten City Composite down 13.4% from the peak, 20 City composite down 12.5% from the peak
•Miami, FL and Las Vegas, NV show largest declines in last 12 months, 19.3% each
•Miami, FL home prices are 125% greater than in 2000, In Los Angeles, CA prices are 124% above 2000
•In Detroit, MI home prices are virtually the same as in 2000
•In Cleveland, OH, home prices are only 8.5% above 2000
(The index does NOT include new houses and excludes foreclosures)
The National Association of Realtors report for February also published this week showed median home prices declined from US$213,500 February 2007 to US$195,900 - a drop of 8.2% but prices have been trading in a narrow range since September.
Realtors took comfort ( and they need it) from existing-home sales ( transactions closed) – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 2.9 % to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million units in February up from 4.89 million in January, but way, way down on the ( 23.8%) the 6.60 million-unit level in February 2007.
Total housing inventory fell 3.0% at the end of February to 4.03 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 10.2-month supply in January.
This is a neat chart from S&P's webcast presentation that puts the current house price levels in historical context .....Click to enlarge
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