April 23, 2024

U.S. Home Prices Fell Again in February

The Standard Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for 20 large cities dropped 1.1 percent from January. It was down 3.3 percent over the previous 12 months.

The index is now at 139.27, essentially the same as the low of 139.26 it reached in April 2009.

“There is very little, if any, good news about housing. Prices continue to weaken, while trends in sales and construction are disappointing,” the chairman of the S. P. index committee. David M. Blitzer, said.

Ten of the cities in the index hit a low for the cycle in February, one fewer than January. Detroit was the exception.

Housing prices are falling despite the fact that banks have pulled back on foreclosures, which generally drive neighborhood prices down. They are falling despite low interest rates, which make houses more affordable. And they are falling despite the fact that they have already fallen by a third from their heady peaks in mid-decade.

The Case-Shiller index, which measures repeat sales of houses in 20 large cities, is an imperfect measure of the real estate market. But other indexes also describe a troubled market. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s index, which is calculated using the purchase prices of houses with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the government loan repositories, is declining at a faster rate than previously.

The F.H.F.A. index fell 1.6 percent in February from the previous month, the agency said last week, while the January decline was revised up to 1 percent. In the last year, the index has fallen nearly 6 percent.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=93fa45218da74a5b472c9e331ba406e6

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