2011 Home Prices are “Dismal” says Case-Shiller Index

The Case-Shiller housing index report released today indicates that U.S. home prices have deteriorated further into 2011, falling 2% in January from the prior-year level.

The only areas to post positive annual growth rates in January were San Diego and Washington, D.C., which gained .1% and 3.6%, respectively. They are the only two cities with positive annual growth rates throughout 2010.

“Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “With this month’s data, we find the same 11 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) posting new recent index lows. The 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to decline month-over-month and have posted monthly declines for six consecutive months now.

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“These data confirm what we have seen with recent housing starts and sales reports. The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing. A few months ago we defined a double-dip for home prices as seeing the 10- and 20-City Composites set new post-peak lows. The 10-City Composite is still 2.8% above and the 20-City is 1.1% above their respective April 2009 lows, but both series have moved closer to a confirmed double-dip for six consecutive months.  At this point we are not too far off, and that is what many analysts are seeing with sales, starts and inventory data too.

MSAs with the largest deceleration in home prices, according to the most recent data, were Atlanta, Cleveland and Las Vegas. In those areas, home prices are now below their January 2000 levels. According to Standard and Poor’s, Washington, D.C. appears to be the only city to have “weathered the recent storm.”

See the full Case-Shiller January report.