Single-family home prices fell for a fifth straight month in November and a double-dip in home prices could be confirmed by spring, a closely watched survey said Tuesday.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.5 percent in November from October on a seasonally adjusted basis, though it was not as sharp as the 0.8 percent fall expected by economists.
Prices have fallen 1.6 percent in the past year, sharper than the 1.4 percent predicted by economists polled by Reuters.
“Everything in this report is unfortunately still sagging and still pointing downward,” David Blitzer, S&P 500 Index Committee chairman, said in a CNBC interview just after the report was released. “The recent news across the board on housing except for existing home sales has been very, very disappointing. We still seem to be at best scraping along the bottom.”
Residential real-estate prices dropped in November by the most in a year, signaling housing has yet to join the U.S. rebound.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home values in 20 cities fell 1.6 percent from November the prior year, the biggest 12-month decrease since December 2009, the group said today in New York. The decline matched the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Mounting foreclosures will probably throw more properties on the market this year, further depressing prices, homeowners’ equity and construction. The lack of a sustained housing rebound and unemployment above 9 percent are among reasons the Federal Reserve may announce this week it’ll complete a second round of stimulus that will pump $600 billion into the economy by June.
“The housing market is in a state of hibernation,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “We have a very severe foreclosure problem. Prices are going to keep weakening this year. Weakness in the housing market is likely to keep the Fed relatively cautious in its statement tomorrow.”