Housing prices continue to fall, no bottom in sight

Home Prices Continue Downward March

U.S. home prices continued their multiyear tumble in March, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home-price indexes, as the downdraft shows no near-term signs of abating.

Meanwhile, U.S. consumer confidence improved sharply in May, especially in expectations for the economy six months from now, a report released Tuesday said.

For the first quarter, the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 19.1% drop from a year earlier, the biggest quarterly decline for the reading's 21-year history. S&P Case-Shiller releases 10-city and 20-city indexes every month, but also releases a broader national index every quarter.

Separately, the monthly numbers showed 15 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 fourth quarter of 2002.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee, noted that March was only the second time since October 2007 that both the 10- and 20-city index didn't report record annual price declines. . . . . .

The monthly data for the index is available here. See also this piece in the Financial Times.

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