U.S. home prices were down in February—everywhere. Every one of the U.S. Census divisions saw drops, ranging from seasonally adjusted declines of 0.6% to almost 4% for the month, according to data released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
What’s more, January was worse than previously reported: FHFA revised the national decline for the month from a 0.3% drop to a 1.0% decline. According to Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, the chances that February’s numbers will be revised down is “more than an even bet.”
While the national decline was 1.6%, some regions were particularly battered. The Mountain division (which includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) saw the steepest decline for the month—a brutal 3.7% decrease. And, according to Newport, prices in these states have declined a full 7.2% in three months.
The East North Central division was February’s second biggest loser, with a price decline of 2.6%. According to Newport’s calculations, the region (which includes Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) saw prices drop 6.1% in the three months ending in February.
“A number of factors are behind the declines, including weak demand, tight credit, a housing glut, and foreclosures,” Newport told Builder in an email. “The latest readings, unfortunately, indicate that the vicious cycle in which falling prices lead to more foreclosures, which lead to even lower housing prices is still present.”
Claire Easley is senior editor, online, at Builder.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.