Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Case-Schiller House Price Index Hits a New Low

The impact of last year's government manipulation of the housing market continues as the Case-Shiller house price index, on a seasonally adjusted basis, fell in March 2011 by 0.2% versus February 2011  and declined by 3.6% versus March 2010 The level of the index fell to a new cycle low, and now indicates a peak-to-trough decline in house prices of at least 33.1%. A large factor in the overall decline at the present time continues to be the large inventory of foreclosed homes that overhang the market. These houses should have been cleared out over a year ago, but attempts by the government to prop up the market kept bankers much more hopeful about housing prices than they should have been.

Not surprisingly, as government plays a larger role in the economy ,Washington DC moved against the downward trend and remained the top gainer, with a price increase  of 1.2% versus February 2011 and an 8.1% increase versus March 2010.
San Francisco (+0.5%), Miami (+0.3%), Seattle (+0.2%) and Los Angeles (+0.1%) also saw month-over-month gains in prices. On the downside, Charlotte (-2.6%), Minneapolis (-2.5%), Cleveland(1.3%) and Atlanta (-1.2%) prices fell significantly.

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