Due out at 9am this morning, post will be updated as news/info becomes available.
Home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas fell in April at a slower pace than forecast, a sign the plunge in real-estate values is abating.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index decreased 18.1 percent from a year earlier following an 18.7 percent drop in March. The measure declined 19 percent in January, the most since the data began in 2001.
Price declines are likely to keep moderating as demand steadies and distressed properties account for a smaller share of transactions. Still, the highest jobless rate in 25 years is contributing to record foreclosures, which are likely to keep depressing values for months to come even as home sales steady.
“It is looking a little bit better,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The largest declines are probably past. When prices stop falling the erosion in household wealth will come to an end.”
Economists forecast the index would drop 18.6 percent, according to the estimates of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Estimates ranged from drops of 17.7 percent to 19.4 percent.
U.S. home prices were down 18.1% in the year ended April, according to the national Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. On a month-to-month basis, prices in 20 selected cities fell 0.6% in April, with declines in 11 cities. Still, the overall pace of decline slowed in April, said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee for Standard & Poor’s, which compiles the Case-Shiller index. “Every metro area, except for Charlotte, recorded an improvement in monthly returns over March,” Blitzer said. “While one month’s data cannot determine if a turnaround has begun, it seems that some stabilization may be appearing in some of the regions.”
From the WSJ:
U.S. home prices continued their multiyear tumble in April, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home-price indexes, although the indexes showed their third-straight month of slightly smaller declines.
Seventeen of 20 major metropolitan areas posted price declines of more than 10% from a year earlier, with the Sun Belt continuing to be hit hardest. Nationally, home prices are at levels similar to the middle of 2003.
From the AP:
A key housing index shows a clear trend that home price declines are moderating.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by 18.1 percent from April 2008. The 10-city index fell 18 percent from the year before.
April, however, marked the third straight month both indexes didn’t set record price declines. And yearly losses in 13 metros improved compared to March.
Still, the 20-city index is off almost 33 percent from its peak in the second quarter of 2006, and the 10-city has dropped by almost 34 percent, which means home values are now around 2003-levels.