New York, May 31, 2011 – Data through March 2011, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its
S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S.
National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6% in the
fourth quarter of 2010. The National Index hit a new recession low with the first quarter’s data and
posted an annual decline of 5.1% versus the first quarter of 2010. Nationally, home prices are back to
their mid-2002 levels.
As of March 2011, 19 of the 20 MSAs covered by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and both
monthly composites were down compared to March 2010. Twelve of the 20 MSAs and the 20-City
Composite also posted new index lows in March. With an index value of 138.16, the 20-City Composite
fell below its earlier reported April 2009 low of 139.26. Minneapolis posted a double-digit 10.0% annual
decline, the first market to be back in this territory since March 2010 when Las Vegas was down 12.0%
on an annual basis. In the midst of all these falling prices and record lows, Washington DC was the only
city where home prices increased on both a monthly (+1.1%) and annual (+4.3%) basis. Seattle was up a
modest 0.1% for the month, but still down 7.5% versus March 2010.
The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index,
which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 5.1% decline in the first quarter of 2011 over the
first quarter of 2010. In March, the 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual rates of decline of 2.9%
and 3.6%, respectively. Thirteen of the 20 MSAs and both monthly Composites saw their annual growth
rates fall deeper into negative territory in March. While they did not worsen, Chicago, Phoenix and
Seattle saw no improvement in their respective annual rates.
“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the
nation. The National Index, the 20-City Composite and 12 MSAs all hit new lows with data reported
through March 2011. The National Index fell 4.2% over the first quarter alone, and is down 5.1%
compared to its year-ago level. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”
says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Since December 2010, we
have found an increasing number of markets posting new lows. In March 2011, 12 cities – Atlanta,
Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland
(OR) and Tampa – fell to their lowest levels as measured by the current housing cycle. Washington D.C.
was the only MSA displaying positive trends with an annual growth rate of +4.3% and a 1.1% increase
from its February level.
“The rebound in prices seen in 2009 and 2010 was largely due to the first-time home buyers tax credit.
Excluding the results of that policy, there has been no recovery or even stabilization in home prices
during or after the recent recession. Further, while last year saw signs of an economic recovery, the most
recent data do not point to renewed gains.
“Looking deeper into the monthly data, 18 MSAs and both Composites were down in March over
February. The only two which weren’t, are Washington DC, up 1.1%, and Seattle, up 0.1%. Atlanta,
Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas are the markets where average home prices are now below their
January 2000 levels. With a March index level of 100.27, Phoenix is not far off.”