Clear Capital reported a sudden and dramatic drop in US home prices on Friday. Recent data shows a two month 5.9% price decline representing a magnitude and speed of decline not seen since March 2009.
“Clear Capital’s latest data shows even more pronounced price declines than our most recent HDI market report released two weeks ago,” said Dr. Alex Villacorta, senior statistician, Clear Capital. “At the national level, home prices are clearly experiencing a dramatic drop from the tax credit-induced highs, effectively wiping out all of the gains obtained during the flurry of activity just preceding the tax credit expiration.”
National home prices are now at the same level as in mid April 2010, two weeks prior to the expiration of the recent federal homebuyer tax credit. This significant drop in prices, in advance of the typical winter housing market slowdowns, paints an ominous picture that will likely show up in other home data indices in the coming months.
For example, both Clear Capital and S&P/Case-Shiller indices have displayed consistent market peak, trough, secondary trough, and tax credit run-ups. Despite these consistencies, a critical difference is that HDI’s patent pending methodology enables more timely and granular reporting. Therefore, if previous correlations between the Clear Capital and S&P/Case-Shiller indices continue as expected, the next two months will show a similar downward trend in S&P/Case Shiller numbers.