November 25, 2008

U.S. home prices have record decline

U.S. home prices slid more than 16 percent in the third quarter compared to the same time a year ago, a widely watched survey indicates.

CNN reported Tuesday that the 16.6 percent decline in the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index eclipsed the previous record of 15.1 percent set during the second quarter.

Case-Shiller's separate index of 10 major cities showed home prices fell a record 18.6 percent, while its 20-city index dropped a record 17.4 percent. Home prices in the 10-city index have fallen for 26 consecutive months, CNN reported.

The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals, said David Blitzer, Standard & Poor's spokesman for the indexes. All three aggregate indices, and 13 of the 20 metro areas, are reporting new record rates of decline ... Prices are back to where they were in early 2004.

The weakest housing market is in Phoenix, where the 12-month loss came to 31.9 percent. The best performing markets were Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., where prices dropped 2.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.