The housing problem keeps hanging around like a summer cold that won't go away, with the latest bad news coming from Tuesday's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices that showed the decline in home prices worsened in April. According to data from the latest monthly survey, all 20 of the metropolitan survey areas registered annual declines in April. Of these, 13 racked up record annual lows, including 10 in the double-digit range.
The 20-city composite index posted a record-low annual price drop of 15.3%, while the 10-city composite index showed a record-low 16.35% drop. Former high-flying regions Las Vegas and Miami were the worst performers with annual declines of 26.8% and 26.7%, respectively.
On a relative basis, the best-performing markets on an annualized basis were Charlotte (-0.1%), Dallas (-3.4%) and both Denver and Portland (-4.7%).
"There might be some regional pockets of improvement, but on an annual basis the overall numbers continue to decline," says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. "One possible bright side to the annual figures is that three MSAs--Chicago, Cleveland and Denver--while still negative, showed some improvement in their annual figures over those reported last month."
Blitzer says 12 of the MSAs have declined since September 2007. marking eight consecutive months. "If there is anywhere to look for possible improvement," he said, "it would be that the pace of monthly declines has slowed down for most of the markets."