Dip in Home Prices

June 25, 2008

This morning The Dallas Morning News Reported, home prices took another dip in the latest measure of the U.S. housing market.

Local home prices fell 3.4 percent in April from a year earlier in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday.

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Map: Dallas-Fort Worth home sales and prices
The local decline is much lower than the 15.3 percent falloff in prices for the 20 cities surveyed in the monthly report. It was the largest nationwide drop in home prices on record.

Across the country, home prices have retreated to levels last seen in August 2004.

Every city in the benchmark Case-Shiller April report saw prices lower than a year ago.

Las Vegas and Miami had the biggest price declines, down more than 26 percent from last year.

The smallest decline was in Charlotte, N.C. – down 0.1 percent.

But there were small gains in some markets in April compared with March, including a 1.1 percent increase in Dallas.

“There might be some regional pockets of improvement, but on an annual basis the overall numbers continue to decline,” Standard & Poor’s David Blitzer said.

“If there is anywhere to look for possible improvement, it would be that the pace of monthly declines has slowed down for most of the markets,” Mr. Blitzer said.

Case-Shiller tracks the prices of typical single-family homes in each metropolitan area.

The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses. It only covers pre-owned properties – no new construction.

The Case-Shiller researchers compare “arms-length sales” of specific single-family homes over time.

Also Tuesday, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported that its home price index showed a 4.6 percent nationwide decline in prices for the 12 months ending in April.

But in the region that includes Texas, prices were up 1.9 percent from a year ago.

Agency surveys don’t include all houses sold in the market and only those with mortgages of less than $417,000.

A report released this week by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies suggests that a turnaround in the nation’s depressed housing market is a ways off.

Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2008 study

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