Case-Shiller Home Prices: Residential Real Estate Data is UGLY

This morning S&P/Case-Shiller released their monthly Home Price Index, a leading measure of changes in the price of homes on the residential real-estate market (NYSE:IYR). The data released was for the first quarter 2011, and it wasn’t pretty.

According to the S&P housing prices fell by 4.2% in the first quarter 2011, after having previously fallen 3.6% in the fourth quarter 2010. The National Home Price Index, a separate component of the report, also reported some grim figures, posting a 5.1% decline since the last quarter. This indicates that housing prices in the first quarter 2011 have hit their lowest levels since Mid 2002. According to the report the price levels for the national housing index are on par with reported data from that year (02′.)

The S&P/Case-Shiller report also consists of 10-city and 20-city composite rankings for major metropolitan areas. The data from the composites was not any brighter. Twelve of the twenty cities listed in the 20-city composite posted “new index lows in March,” placing both composite indices in negative growth territory over the past year. Data collated from individual metropolitan areas revealed some serious bear markets, namely in cities such as Minneapolis, which posted an annual decline of over 10% in home values for the second consecutive year, Phoenix, where prices are down almost 8.5% on the year, and Chicago, down 7.6% YTD.

Eleven cities and both composite indices have now posted eight consecutive months of negative returns. According to David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation. The National Index, the 20-City Composite and 12 MSAs all hit new lows with data reported through March 2011. The National Index fell 4.2% over the first quarter alone, and is down 5.1% compared to its year-ago level. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”

Washington, DC was the only city to find good news in the report, tabbing a slight appreciation of 1.1% in home values in the in Q1 2011.