Home prices in the U.S. declined less than forecast in July from a year earlier, a sign bank delays in processing foreclosures may have temporarily slowed the slump in real-estate values.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4.1 percent from July 2010, after a revised 4.4 percent drop in the 12 months to June, the group said today in New York. The median forecast of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 4.4 percent decline. Values were little changed in July from the prior month after adjusting for seasonal changes, the same as in June.
Estimates for the price change from July 2010 ranged from declines of 4 percent to 5.5 percent, according to the Bloomberg survey. The Case-Shiller measure is based on a three-month average, which means the July data were influenced by transactions in June and May. July’s year-to-year drop was the smallest since March.
Prices in the 20 cities rose 0.9 before adjusting for seasonal changes in July after climbing 1.2 percent in June.
“This is still a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are expected,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “We are still far from a sustained recovery.”
From the Record:
Home prices in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, dropped 3.7 percent in the year ended in July, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index reported Tuesday. Nationally, prices slipped 4.1 percent in that period.
From June to July, however, prices ticked up, both nationally and in the region.
What it means: Home values nationally have returned to the levels of summer 2003, while in the area, prices have returned to the levels of April 2004. Values have dropped about 31 percent nationally and 22 percent regionally since their peaks in mid-2006.
In Bergen County, the median price of a single-family home was $460,000 in July, down 7.8 percent from a year earlier, while the number of sales rose 15 percent. In Passaic County, the median price dropped 7.2 percent to $280,275, while the number of sales rose 2.3 percent.
These numbers are from the New Jersey and Garden State multiple listing services and reflect the mix of homes sold during the month. Case-Shiller does not break down sales by county, but it is considered a more reliable barometer because it tracks the value of the same properties over time.