Home prices keep dropping in Case-Shiller report

The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a leading indicator of U.S. housing prices, showed home prices decrease in the second consecutive month in November 2011, posting annual returns of -3.6% and -3.7% in the 10-city and 20-city composites versus November 2010, worse than the -3.2% and -3.4% annual rates reported for October’s annual comparisons. 

In month-over-month figures, the S&P/Case-Shiller 10-City and 20-City Composites both fell 1.3% in November 2011 versus October 2011. For a second consecutive month, 19 of the 20 cities covered by the indices also saw home prices decrease.

Atlanta continues to stand out in terms of recent relative weakness, as home prices there fell 2.5% over the month after having fallen by 5.0% in October, 5.9% in September and 2.4% in August. In addition, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa all reached new annual lows in November.

Minneapolis and Phoenix saw their annual rates improve. Detroit and Washington, D.C., were the only two cities to post positive annual returns of 3.8% and 0.5%, respectively, in November. While positive, both cities saw declines in month-over-month home prices in November compared with October.

“Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “The only positive for the month was Phoenix, one of the hardest hit in recent years. Nationally, home prices are lower than a year ago. The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand.”