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NEWSFLASH--Case-Shiller Index Fails to Set a Record

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted April 28, 2009




Here are the latest figures from the Case Shiller Home Price Index.

The bad news is home prices fell by 18.6% compared to last February.

The good news is that for the first time in 25 months the plunge in prices didn’t set a record.


From the Bloomberg by Courtney Schlisserman entitled: Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Declined at Slower Pace

"The decline in home prices in 20 major U.S. cities slowed in February for the first time since 2007, amplifying signals that the market may be stabilizing.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index’s 18.6 percent decrease compares with a record 19 percent decline the month before. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007, and year-over-year records began in 2001.

Declining prices, Federal Reserve efforts to bring mortgage rates down, and government tax credits for first-time buyers may continue to support sales after an almost four-year slide. Still, mounting unemployment means purchases are unlikely to rebound quickly.

"We’re probably getting close to an inflection point," said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who correctly forecast the drop in the index. Still, he said, "if we are indeed going to see a recovery in the second half," the double-digit price drops will need to abate in the next few months.

Economists forecast the index would drop 18.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the median of 27 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from declines of 17 percent to 19.2 percent.

Compared with a month earlier, home prices fell 2.2 percent in February, after a 2.8 percent decline in January, today’s report showed.

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year price decrease in February, led by a 35 percent drop in Phoenix, a 32 percent decline in Las Vegas and a 31 percent slide in San Francisco. Compared with the prior month, prices also fell in all 20 cities.

"While the declines in residential real estate continued into February, we witnessed some deceleration in the rate of decline in some of the markets," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, said in a statement."

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