The S&P Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 2.5% decrease from a year earlier, a significant easing from the 19%, 15% and 8.7% declines in the rest of 2009.
The indexes showed prices in 10 major metropolitan areas fell 2.4% in December from a year earlier, while the index for 20 major metropolitan areas dropped 3.1%.
Prices are down 5.3% in the past year, compared with a 7.3% decline in October, S&P said. A year ago, prices had tumbled 18.2%. The index shows prices in the 20 cities are down 32.6% from the peak. Prices are the same as they were in late 2003.
The housing market is definitely in better shape than it was this time last year, as
the pace of deterioration has stabilized for now. However, the rate of improvement seen during the summer of 2009 has not been sustained, says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. In the most recent months we are seeing fewer and fewer MSAs reporting monthly gains in prices. (Via S&P)
Now We Wait
Since 2000, the area traditionally defined as the Sun Belt experienced the largest run-up in prices and since has been the hardest hit. Government effort to support programs to place a floor under home prices house prices led to small price increases over the Summer. The Fed program to support the secondary markets will end and that is a sure increase in interest rates. The question is what happens to prices as these programs end over the next 6 months.
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