Case-Shiller: House prices hits new lows during December
- Blog Post by: Jim Buchta
- February 28, 2012 - 3:12 PM
Home prices across the country fell to new lows - and more than anticipated - in December, according to a year-end report from the Standard and Poor's Case-Shiller report. The index, which tracks repeat sales of the same house, said prices were down 4 percent in December compared with 2010. In the Twin Cities metro area, the index was down, but not nearly as much as it was in some cities. (You can read the full report here).
The index in the Twin Cities was down 4.9 percent, only slightly more than the national average. In December the index for the Twin Cities stood at 111.64, which means that prices are still 11.64 percent higher than they were when a baseline of 100 was established in 2000. Nationwide the index stood at 125.67.
Though the annual declines across the country and in the Twin Cities haven't been as big as they've been during some months, the report was "disappointing," according to David Blitzer, chairman of S & P's Index Committee. Worse, the index fell to the lowest level since the group began tracking prices in early 2006. Compared with November, prices during December were down 1.8 percent, slightly more than a 0.5 percent decline from October.
“While we thought we saw some signs of stabilization in the middle of 2011, it appears that neither the economy nor consumer confidence was strong enough to move the market in a positive direction as the year ended," Blitzer said.
Across the country, only 18 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas tracked by the group saw monthly declines from November to December, and Detroit was the only city to post an annual increase with prices up 0.5 percent in December compared with December 2010. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa all saw home prices hit new lows.
Though the index had fallen more than expected, some experts say that more recent sales data suggest that the market is healthier than the Case-Shiller report suggests. Local reports show that home sales are up double-digits and price declines have fallen slightly. The market, experts say, is getting a boost from improving consumer confidence, record low mortgage rates and a falling unemployment rate. In January the median home sales price in the Twin Cities metro was $140,000, down 3.4 percent from last year, according to the latest data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Pending sales - an indication of future closings - were up 24 percent.
© 2013 Star Tribune