The S&P/Case Shiller Index, a bellwether for the new housing market, has reported that home prices for the month of February 2011 continue to fall from their year-ago levels but remain slightly above the April 2009 bottom point.
The 10-City and 20-City composites fell 2.6% and 3.3% respectively from their February 2010 levels. Washington D.C. was the only market to post a year-over-year gain with an annual growth rate of 2.7%.
Ten of the 11 cities that made new lows in January 2011 saw new lows again in February 2011. Detroit avoided another new low, managing a 1.0% increase in February over January, the only city with a positive monthly change.
In month-over-month comparisons, February’s 10-City and 20-City composites were both down 1.1% from their January 2011 levels. Nineteen of the 20 MSAs and both the 10-City and 20-City composite fell in February versus January. Of these, 14 MSAs and both composites posted negative monthly returns for more than six consecutive months. With the February 2011 report, 11 of the 20 MSAs and both composites are down by more than 1% compared to their January levels.
“There is very little, if any, good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. “Prices continue to weaken, while trends in sales and construction are disappointing. ”He described the 20-City Composite as “within a hair’s breadth of a double dip.”
Atlanta, Cleveland and Las Vegas join Detroit as cities with home prices below their 2000 levels, according to Blitzer, and Phoenix is barely above its January 2000 level after a new index low. The one positive is Washington D.C. with a positive annual growth rate of 2.7%, and home prices more than 80% over its January 2000 level.