U.S. National Home Price Index Posts a Record Annual Decline in the 3rd Quarter of 2007

Standard & Poor’s issued a press release today detailing a continuing nationwide erosion in home prices:

Data through September 2007, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller(R) Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, shows continued negative annual returns in the U.S. National Home Price Index, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite, as well as 15 of the 20 metro area indices.

The annual returns of the U.S. National Home Price Index, the 10-City Composite, and the 20-City Composite show all three still yielding negative returns as of September 2007. The quarterly S&P/Case-Shiller(R) U.S. National Home Price Index — which covers all nine U.S. census divisions — was down 1.7% from Q2 2007 and down 4.5% from Q3 2006.

“The declines in the national figure are notable for two reasons,” says Robert J. Shiller, Chief Economist at MacroMarkets LLC. “First, the 3rd quarter decline, at 1.7%, was the largest quarterly decline in the index’s 21-year history. And, second, the year-over-year decline posted its second consecutive record low at -4.5%. Consistent with prior 2007 reports, there is no real positive news in today’s data. Most of the metro areas continue to show declining or decelerating returns on both an annual and monthly basis. All 20 metro areas were in decline in September over August. Even the five metro areas that still have positive annual growth rates — Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Portland and Seattle — show continued deceleration in returns.”

See also:

AP: “Existing Homes Sales Fall for Eighth Straight Month in October”, 11/28/07
Sales of existing homes fell for the eighth consecutive month in October, with median home prices falling by a record amount. Analysts blamed the worsening housing slump on the credit crunch that hit in August.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 1.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units.

The median price of a home sold last month declined to $207,800, a drop of 5.1 percent from a year ago, the biggest year-over-year price decline on record…

Gazette: “Assessed property values flatten out in Valley”, 11/26/07
After years of double-digit increases, the assessed values of properties remained flat in several Hampshire County communities this year.

Industry experts say it’s a sign the local housing market has cooled…

‘The market is generally slow,’ said David Burgess, principal assessor in Amherst. ‘There’s very little construction at the moment, and people are not paying as much as they were before. It’s cyclical. There’s an awful lot of property on the market.’

Gazette: Over-55 Condo Project in Amherst Stalled for Lack of Demand, 11/17/07
“…right now is a difficult time to be selling condos, particularly before they’ve been built,” said Cohen…