(Karen Weaver from Deutsche Bank provided a similar forecast a little over two weeks ago.)
U.S. housing prices will fall by a double-digit percentage from already beaten-down levels, resulting in an overall 40 percent plunge by the time foreclosures peak in the second half of 2010, Barclays Capital economist Michelle Meyer said.
Meyer issued her forecast two days after the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes showed for April an 18.1 percent year-to-year decline, compared with 18.7 percent in March, in the rate of home price declines in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.
The indexes have tracked the prices of U.S. single-family homes since 1987.
“While the early signs of improvement are in place for housing, the market will likely remain out of balance for some time, given the flood of foreclosures,” Meyer wrote.
“Home prices are likely to continue to fall, albeit at a slowing pace, even after the economy technically emerges from the recession.” Home prices have fallen 32.6 percent from their peak three years ago, S&P/Case-Shiller said.
On that basis, they would need to fall another 11 percent for an overall 40 percent peak-to-trough decline. Further declines could imperil metropolitan areas that have yet to experience the worst of the nation’s housing slump.
According to S&P/Case-Shiller, New York was the only major market to have above-average, month-over-month housing price declines in both March and April and also have a below-average decline for the year ended in April.
U.S. foreclosures will peak in the second half of 2010 and home prices will continue to decline through the end of that year, according to Barclays Capital.
“Home prices are likely to continue to fall, albeit at a slowing pace, even after the economy technically emerges from the recession,” Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York, said in a report today. Prices may drop another 7 percent, she said, based on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 U.S. cities.
The three-year-old housing slump has slashed U.S. home prices 33 percent since their July 2006 peak, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. Prospective buyers are constrained by rising mortgage rates, the highest unemployment since 1983 and the longest recession of the post-World War II era.
U.S. homeowners trying to sell are competing with a glut of discounted foreclosures. It would take about 9.6 months to sell the nation’s 3.8 million unsold homes at the current sales pace, according to the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors.