Home Prices Fall Back to 2002 Levels

The real estate bust has dragged home prices down 32 percent from their 2006 peaks.


American home prices continued their painful slide in March, as a key report on the housing market came in weaker than expected:

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index – which covers all nine U.S. census divisions – recorded a 19.1% decline in the 1st quarter of 2009 versus the 1st quarter of 2008, the largest decline in the serie’s 21-year history. The 10-City and 20-City Composites recorded annual declines of 18.6% and 18.7%, respectively. These are slight improvements from their returns reported for February...

(Via the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices)


The chart above shows the index levels for the U.S. National Home Price Index, as well as its annual returns. As of March 2009, average home prices across the United States are at similar levels to what they were in the fourth quarter of 2002. From the peak in the second quarter of 2006, average home prices are down 32.2%.

But despite the declines, Patrick Newport, of IHS Global Insight, said the report included a dash of optimism. "For the second straight month, the 10-city and 20-city composite indexes did not set new records," Newport said in a report. "In other words, the housing prices these indexes track are no longer falling off a cliff. Instead, they are rolling down a steep hill."

(Via the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices)