Home/Mortgages/Home Prices Flat in Latest Quarter, Fall Slowdown Begins

November 7, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

U.S. home prices in the current rolling quarter ending in October were nearly flat with prices increasing only 0.6 percent, down from 3.5 percent last month, indicating the slowdown predicted last month has begun according to Clear Capital’s Home Data Index (HDI).

Year-over-year, home prices were 2.8 percent lower than at this time last year, marking the 13th consecutive month that annual home prices have declined.

Three of the four regions in the Index posted quarterly gains with the largest price gains posted in the Midwest (2.6%), followed by the Northeast (1.5%) and the South (0.5%), while the West (-1.0%) was the only region to post a decline.

By comparison, three of the four regions posted year-over-year declines with the West suffering the largest decline (-5.5%), followed by the Midwest (-3.6%), and the South (-2.4%), with the Northeast (1.2%) being the only region to post an increase.

Home prices in the last six months continued to show some signs of stabilizing as three of the four regions also posted price gains with the Midwest (2.5%) posting the largest gain, followed by the Northeast (1.8%) and the South (0.4%). The West (-2.2%) once again posted the worse performance.

Dr. Alex Villacorta, Director of Research and Analytics at Clear Capital said, “October home price gains have leveled out, confirming what our data has pointed to over the last several months. Short term gains have been nearly eliminated while longer term performance measures point to mostly negative territory through the turn of the year.”

All of the cities in the 15 highest performing markets posted quarterly gains but with a considerable loss in momentum. Cleveland (6.2%) was again the top performer but was off substantially from last month’s gain of 18.2 percent. Not one of the cities in the highest performing markets posted a double digit gain.

Rounding out the top five after Cleveland was Hartford (6.0%), Washington D.C. (5.7%), Columbus (4.9%) and Jacksonville (4.4%). Florida markets dominated the list of highest performing markets by capturing seven of the top 15 spots.

All of the cities in the 15 lowest performing markets posted a decline in the last quarter giving back most of the gains from the summer buying season.

Las Vegas (-3.4%) was also once again the worse performing market following a 1.7 percent decline last month. Rounding out the top five was Atlanta (-3.0%), Seattle (-2.6%), Riverside CA (-2.3%) and Fresno (-2.3%). California markets continued to dominate the list with six of the 15 worst performing markets coming from that state, though down from seven last month.

The REO saturation rate for the highest performing markets averaged less than 23 percent while the saturation rate in the lowest performing markets averaged 30 percent.

“With current tepid demand expected to weaken even more, consumer confidence at record lows, and as the distressed inventory continues to flow into the market, we can expect another long winter as the housing market will truly be put to the test against these downward forces,” added Villacorta.

Tags: Clear Capital, housing prices, price declines, REO, saturation rate, consumer demand, metropolitan areas

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