The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released Tuesday, hit new record lows for April, with the 10-City Composite Index down 16.3% and the 20-City Composite Index down 15.3% on a year-over-year basis and all markets now showing annual declines. The Case-Shiller indices put home prices at the end of April back to 2004 levels.
Meanwhile, the House Price Index (HPI) from the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight, also reported Tuesday, put the annual decline at 4.6% in April from the same month in 2007, which, coincidentally, was the peak for that index.
On a month-to-month basis, the Case-Shiller indices were off 1.6% for the 10-City Composite and 1.4% for the 20-City. Those declines marked a deceleration from the 2.4% and 2.2% declines posted from February to March.OFHEO's HPI showed a 0.8% drop on a seasonally-adjusted basis from March to April.
"There might be some regional pockets of improvement, but on an annual basis the overall numbers continue to decline," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. "All 20 MSAs are now showing declines with Charlotte, the last holdout during the 2007/early 2008 period, now reporting an annual decline of 0.1%."
"If there is anywhere to look for possible improvement, it would be that the pace of monthly declines has slowed down for most of the markets," Blitzer added. Such improvement was evident in eight markets, which showed price increases from March to April, including Boston, up 0.1%; Charlotte, up 0.2%; Chicago, up 0.1%; Cleveland, up 2.9%; Dallas, up 1.1%; Denver, up 0.8%, Portland, up 0.3%; and Seattle, up 0.7%.
On the down side, Miami led the pack with a decline of 4.1% from March to April, followed by Phoenix, down 3.4%; San Diego, down 2.6%; San Francisco and Los Angeles, down 2.2%, Tampa, down 2.1% and Las Vegas, down 2.0%. On an annualized basis, Las Vegas leads in declines, off 26.8%, followed by Miami at -26.7%, Phoenix at -25%, Los Angeles at -23.1%, San Diego at -22.4%, San Francisco at -22.1% and Tampa at -20%.
Regionally, the monthly OFHEO HPI ranged from -2.0% in the Pacific Census Division (which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California) to 0.9% in the East South Central Division (which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama). On a 12-month basis, the regions ranged from -15% in the Pacific to a 0.1% increase in the East South Central and 1.9% in the West South Central.
However, since the Ofheo index only measures conforming mortgages, it misses the upper end of the market. As explained by James Lockhart, OFHEO director, "Due to the broader geographic reach and narrower range of financing types than other house price indexes, the HPI¹s fall has been comparatively muted." Still, the OFHEO data shows that house prices on a nationwide basis have fallen to December 2005 levels.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.