US house prices continue to fall

S&P Dec08.jpg

Q4 was never going to be good for US housing markets. The financial crash of September/October not only terrified potential buyers, but also meant they found it increasingly difficult to secure loans.

As the chart shows, this lethal combination hit house prices hard. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller figures show prices down 24% in October from the mid-2006 peak. 14 of the 20 metro areas saw record levels of decline, whilst S&P comment that the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic South regions joined the Sunbelt in experiencing a “severe contraction”.

The East Coast is still seeing “only” single digit declines, but San Francisco saw a 31% decline versus 2007, whilst Miami was down 29%. And 6 cities, including Atlanta and Detroit, posted a record monthly decline. As S&P comment, “the bear market continues”, with average prices now back to March 2004 levels.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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