Whatever hope there has been for a real estate market recovery was crushed today and Case-Shiller issued its data for prices in the top 10 and top 20 markets.
Data through January 2012, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed annual declines of 3.9% and 3.8% for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively. Both composites saw price declines of 0.8% in the month of January. Sixteen of 19 MSAs also saw home prices decrease over the month; only Miami, Phoenix and Washington DC home prices went up versus December 2011.
Government data on home starts and other information on builder confidence have been up, but much of that points to what may happen later in the year.
Low interest rates and the ongoing decline has failed to bring buyers into the market. Inventories are still near all-time highs. Each of these is a sign that buyers are worried that prices will continue downward. So far, those worries have proved to be true
Of the markets in the survey, the hardest hit on a year over year basis were Atlanta (down 14.8%) and Las Vegas (down 9%) The free fall in Las Vegas, the hardest hit of the major cities continues.