The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices continued their downward journey in January, hitting a new record low and leading the custodian of the data to surmise that there is no indication of a housing turnaround anytime in the foreseeable future.
The 10-City Composite Index fell 11.4% from January 2007 to 196.06, meaning that home prices in the 10 original metro markets are 96.06% ahead of where they were in January, 2000. It was the biggest drop since the series began in 1987.
The 20-City Composite was down 10.7% to 180.65.
"Unfortunately it does not look like early 2008 is marking any turnaround in the housing market, after the declining year recorded throughout 2007," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P. "Home prices continue to fall, decelerate and reach record lows across the nation."
Only a single market, Charlotte, posted an increase in prices for the month, and it was up only 1.8%. S&P said 16 of the 20 metros reported record low annual growth rates, and every metro has declined each month since September, indicating the nationwide breadth of the downturn. Said Blitzer, "On top of that, the declines have increased through time, in general, as 13 of the 20 MSAs reported their single largest monthly decline in January."
Las Vegas and Miami were the weakest markets in January, reporting double-digit annual declines of 19.3%, followed by Phoenix at -18.2%. In January, Washington and Minneapolis slipped into negative double-digit territory with annual returns of -10.9% and -10.0%, respectively.
Detroit, with a loss of 15.1% on a year-over-year basis, is now tenths of a percentage point above where it was in January of 200, which means all appreciation in equity in the market has been wiped out. Cleveland is not far behind: With a drop of 8.5%, it now stands only 8.49% from price appreciation wipeout. In Dallas, which was off 3.3%, prices are only 18.5% above where they were in January, 2000. Denver, off 5.1%, is holding only 28.98% of equity appreciation.
Other markets with double-digit losses included Washington, down 10.9% and Minneapolis, down 10%.
The New York market lost 0.9% from December to January and now stands 5.1% below a year ago; Boston lost 1.2% month-to-month and is down 3.4% from January, 2007. Chicago was off 2.2% December to January and is down 6.6% for the year. Portland and Seattle were off 2% and 1.8% month-to-month and 0.5% and 1.3% year-over-year, respectively.
Michael Rehaut, home building analyst at J.P. Morgan, put out a research note saying, "We believe today's Case-Shiller data, combined with a look at per-capita personal income and mortgage rate spreads, reinforces our view that home prices have much further to fall. As a result, we believe material asset impairment charges--representing at least another 25-30% hit to equity--remains for the group over the next several quarters, and hence, maintain our negative sector stance."
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.