Case-Shiller: No Sunshine This Month

The latest Case-Shiller report is out. Not really any great news.

Here is a summary from the WSJ Real Time Economics blog:

In the 20-city index, no area experienced year-over-year price gains, the ninth straight month that has happened. Further, none of the cities managed to avoid month-to-month declines for the third month in a row.

Phoenix and Las Vegas continued to lead decliners, with monthly drops around 5% and year-to-year falls over 30%. Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Boston faired the best in terms of annual declines down 4.0%, 4.3%, 6.1% and 7.0%, respectively.

As of December, 18 of the 20 metro areas are in double digit declines from their peaks, with half posting declines of greater than 20% and four of those (Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco) in excess of 40%.

“The deterioration in U.S. home prices continues apace, with the rate of decline picking up steam late last year,” said Mike Larson, real estate and interest analyst at Weiss Research. “Rising foreclosure activity is putting pressure on prices, as lenders are increasingly pursuing a ‘take what we can get’ selling strategy.”

And here is the 10 city detail:

(About the numbers: The Case Shiller indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000. So a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the metro market.)

Home Prices, by Metro Area 

Metro Area    December 2008    Change from November    Year-over-year change   
Atlanta 113.87 -2.3% -12.1%
Boston 153.05 -1.3% -7.0%
Charlotte 122.41 -2.5% -7.2%
Chicago 137.16 -3.0% -14.3%
Cleveland 105.21 -2.1% -6.1%
Dallas 115.63 -2.3% -4.3%
Denver 125.74 -1.5% -4.0%
Detroit 80.93 -3.0% -21.7%
Las Vegas 131.40 -4.8% -33.0%
Los Angeles 171.46 -2.5% -26.4%
Miami 165.01 -2.7% -28.8%
Minneapolis 127.00 -4.6% -18.4%
New York 183.50 -1.7% -9.2%
Phoenix 123.93 -5.1% -34.0%
Portland 158.50 -2.5% -13.1%
San Diego 152.16 -2.1% -24.8%
San Francisco 130.12 -3.8% -31.2%
Seattle 160.19 -3.6% -13.4%
Tampa 156.04 -3.0% -22.0%
Washington 176.34 -2.2% -19.2%
Source: Standard & Poor’s and FiservData
The comment about the banks “taking what they can get” is interesting. There’s been a bit of talk for the past few months suggesting that the banks were withholding REO inventory from the market so as not to completely tank prices. Certainly through the Fall bulk buyers that I talked with were somewhat frustrated by the banks reluctance to price realistically. So if they are trying to flush it out, as that comment would suggest, perhaps we are reaching a point of capitulation. If so, that’s not all bad.
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