Home prices around the country declined further in October, according to both the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index.
The S&P/Case-Shiller indices, which track the prices of "typical single-family homes" in metro areas, saw price declines in both the 10-city and 20-city indices, which dropped 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. However, once seasonal factors were taken into account, the declines fell to 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively. On an annual basis, the 10-city reported a price decline of 3.0%, and the 20-city fell 3.4%.
Before seasonally adjusting, only Phoenix posted an improvement from September. Once seasonal adjustments were made, Charlotte, Denver, Tampa, and Washington, D.C., were added to the list, though all improvements were less than 1%. Annually, only Detroit and Washington, D.C., posted improvements, gaining 2.5% and 1.3%, respectively.
Atlanta saw the biggest slide among the metros tracked. In October, the area dropped 4.1% (seasonally adjusted) from September and has fallen 11.7% year-over-year. Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, and Phoenix all hit seasonally adjusted post-bust lows.
The FHFA’s price index, which tracks the purchase prices of homes with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the nine census divisions, also reported a price decline in October, though a smaller fall of 0.2% between September and October. On an annual basis, the index was down 2.8% nationally.
While six of the census divisions posted declines, prices in three divisions improved. Results ranged from a 2.0% increase in the East South Central division to a 1.0% decline in New England.
Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, attributes the pick-up in price deterioration compared to earlier this year to the rise in foreclosure activity as banks have managed to resolve paperwork issues. Unfortunately, the outlook moving forward isn’t bright, he says.
"The background numbers are discouraging," he wrote in a memo regarding the numbers today. "According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, 12.6% of homeowners with mortgages (over six million homeowners) were either delinquent on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of the third quarter." He also pointed to CoreLogic data that shows 22% of residential properties that have mortgages were upside on their loans at the end of the third quarter. "Add to this the currently high unemployment and underemployment rates, [and] one gets a recipe for further price declines."
Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.