November 7, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

Prices for condominiums in Los Angeles hit their lowest levels since the housing crisis in August while the San Francisco condo market posted the second worst annual rate of decline of any of the five condominium markets covered by Standard & Poor’s indices.

Monthly condo prices in Los Angeles declined 0.7 percent in August and in San Francisco condo prices declined 0.2 percent according the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Index.

The price declines in August occurred at the end of the spring/summer selling season which is not all that unusual, but when looking back at monthly prices over the last year, a much worse picture emerges.

In Los Angeles, condo prices have fallen in 11 of the last 12 months leaving condo prices in the area 7.2 percent lower than August 2010.

In San Francisco, over those same 12 months, condo prices have fallen 10 times leaving prices 9.0 percent lower than in August 2010.

The near year-long decline has put average market prices back to the mid-2003 levels. What’s especially dismaying is the lack of a seasonal “bump” during the spring/summer selling season that the other three condo markets in the survey experienced which is a sure sign that prices will weaken even further in the fall.

The index for Boston fell 0.3 percent from July to August, but is up 6.1 percent over the three previous months, while Chicago and New York posted price increases in August of 0.6 and 2.4 percent, with increases of 1.8 and 0.7 percent in July and 4.3 and 2.1 percent in June, respectively.

Over the last year, prices in New York have increased by 2.3 percent and are only 1.0 percent lower in Boston. Chicago has experienced the largest decline in condo prices in the index with a year-over-year decline of 9.6 percent, but has been making a comeback lately with price gains posted in the last three months.

Since their relative peak market prices, the two California markets continue to experience higher price declines than the other markets in the index.

Condo prices in Los Angeles have declined 39.4 percent since its market peak in July 2006, while San Francisco’s prices have declined 33.0 percent since its peak.

Whereas in New York, condo prices have declined 11.8 percent since its peak in February 2006 and Boston’s decline has been 11.5 percent since its peak.

Tags: California, condo prices, S&P, Case-Shiller Index, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York, market prices