From the AP:
A closely watched index shows home prices dropped by the sharpest annual rate on record in November.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index released Tuesday tumbled by a record 18.2 percent from November 2007, the largest decline since its inception in 2000. The 10-city index dropped 19.1 percent, tied with October for the biggest drop in its 21-year history.
Both indices have recorded year-over-year declines for 23 straight months. Prices are at levels not seen since February 2004.
Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted 25.1 percent from their peak in July 2006. The 10-city index has fallen 26.6 percent since its peak in June 2006.
All 20 cities recorded year-over-year declines in November.
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities declined 18.2 percent in November from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, as foreclosures climbed and sales sank.
The decrease in the S&P/Case-Shiller index was in line with forecasts and followed an 18.1 percent drop in October. The gauge has fallen started falling in January 2007, and year-over-year records began in 2001.
Record foreclosures have contributed to more than $1 trillion in losses worldwide that have prompted banks to shut off access to credit. While plunging values have made homes more affordable, they have also hurt household wealth, contributing to a slump in spending that’s likely to continue for the first half of the year.
“The decline has accelerated over the past few months due to the increase in deeply discounted foreclosure sales,” Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The decline in the housing market worsened markedly at the end of last year.”
Economists forecast the 20-city index would fall 18.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the median of 27 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Projections ranged from declines of 17.4 percent to 20 percent.
“The freefall in residential real estate continued through November,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, said in a statement. “Overall, more than half of the metro areas had record annual declines.”
The 20-city index is down 25 percent from its 2006 peak. Eleven of the 20 metropolitan areas showed record declines in the year ended in November, and eight showed the biggest month-to- month decrease on record.
Prices of single-family homes plunged a record 18.2 percent in November from a year earlier, indicative of a housing market that is still in the throes of a deep recession, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
The composite index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.2 percent in November from October, S&P said in a statement on Tuesday. The depreciation on a month-over-month basis was slightly worse than expectations based on a Reuters survey of economists.
S&P said its composite index of 10 metropolitan areas fell 2.2 percent in November from October for a 19.1 percent year-over-year drop, matching the previous month’s record drop.
“The freefall in residential real estate continued through November 2008,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement.