Home Prices Slid 15.8% in May, Survey Finds

The report’s 20-city index dropped by 15.8 percent in May compared with a year ago, a record decline since the survey’s inception in 2000, the Associated Press reported. The 10-city index plunged 16.9 percent, its biggest decline in its 21-year history.

Case-Shiller monitors prices in 20 major metropolitan areas and is a closely-watched gauge of home pricing trends.

Home values have fallen 18.4 percent since the 20-city index’s peak in July 2006.

“Since August 2006, there has not been one month where we have seen overall price increases” the Case-Shiller report’s overview states.

Nine metropolitan cities — Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C. — posted record lows in May. The value of housing

in Detroit is lower than it was in January 2000, the report said.

Not all the news out of the report was negative, however, with cities like Charlotte and Dallas recording three consecutive months of positive returns.

North Carolina’s Charlotte also posted the smallest price drop at 0.2 percent — until April, Charlotte had been the last metro still showing price gains, the AP reported.

Overall, seven metro areas — Tampa, Fla., Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Dallas and Atlanta — showed smaller annual declines.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted that the monthly and annual housing price drops would be 1 percent and 16 percent, the news service reported.

“The rate of decline is not accelerating as fast,” Pierre Ellis, a Senior Economist at Decision Economics, told Reuters. “There is some light very very far down the tunnel as far as the stabilization of the national housing market. Some markets still have major declines yet to go, but the good news is that others might not.”

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