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US house prices continue to fall

Economic growth, Financial Events, Leverage
By Paul Hodges on 03-Jan-2009
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.