Home Prices See Double-Dip, No Relief In Sight

Home prices continue to plunge, and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show that the U.S. National Home Price Index is down 4.2% for the first quarter of 2011, “hitting a new recession low” according to the S&P press release.

“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” says Standard & Poor Indices Index Committee chairman, David M. Blitzer. “The National Index, the 20-City Composite and 12 MSAs all hit new lows with data reported through March 2011. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”

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The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index covers all nine U.S. census divisions, which collectively posted a 5.1% decline since March 2010.  “Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels,” says the release.

Out of the 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas encompassed by the S&P/Case-Shiller HPI, 19 have declined compared to March 2010, with 12 of those dropping to “their lowest levels, as measured by the current housing cycle,” says the release.

Seattle and Washington, D.C. were the only cities to post increases in monthly home prices, and Washington D.C. was the only city to have an increase in both monthly and annual home prices, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller HPI. Minneapolis experienced a double-digit annual drop, the biggest decline since Las Vegas posted a 12% decrease in home prices in March 2010.

The release mentioned the short-lived surge in home prices in 2009 and 2010, saying it could likely be attributed to the first-time home buyers tax credit.

“Excluding the results of that policy, there has been no recovery or even stabilization in home prices during or after the recent recession,” says Blitzer. “Further, while last year saw signs of an economic recovery, the most recent data do not point to renewed gains.”

View the press release here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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