Today the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report was released which showed the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index recorded a 14.9 percent deline in the second quarter of 2009 versus the 2nd quarter of 2008. While still a significant negative annual rate of return, this quarter is an improvement over the record decline of 19.1 percent reported in the 1st quarter of this year.
In addition to the U.S. National Home Price Index Case-Shiller also has 10-city and 20-city compositives which look at major markets in the country. For the second quarter the 10-city composite index recorded a decline of 15.1 percent from last year and the 20-city composite a decline of 15.4 percent.
The Case-Shiller home price indices combine matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses much like the radar logic report for June I wrote about at the end of last week. The Radar Logic report showed house prices increasing in June in 23 of the 25 metro areas it covers.
Last week we also heard some encouraging news from the REALTORS(R) saying home sales were up in July but that prices were down 15.1 percent from a year ago which is pretty consistent with the Case-Shiller report.
“For the second month in a row, we’re seeing some positive signs,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “The U.S. National Composite rose int he 2nd quarter compared to the 1st quarter of 2009. This is the first time we have seen a positive quarter-over-quarter increease in threee years. Both the 10-city and 20-city composites posted monthly increases, as did most of the cities.”
In spite of the recent positive data, the overall numbers remain weak, with all metro areas posting negative annual returns, and 15 out of the 20 metro areas reporting double digit annual declines. Las Vegas and Detroit continue to be two markets that are struggling severely. These arethe only two markets that fell in June and saw deterioration in their annual rates of return. Since their relative peaks they have fallen 54.3 percent and 45.3 percent respectively. The Radar Logic report also had Las Vegas on their list of cities that have lost the most in home prices and Detroit was ranked the fifth worst on their list.
There is good news for Dallas and Denver, both of which have reported four consecutive months of positive returns. There were 13 of the 20 metro areas that showed positive monthly returns for June greater than 1 percent.