Bloomberg: “S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. Home-Price Index Fell 12.7%”

Bloomberg reports today:

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 12.7 percent [in February] from a year earlier, more than forecast and the most since the figures were first published in 2001. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007.

Prices will probably keep sliding as foreclosures push even more properties onto the market just as stricter lending rules limit the number of qualified buyers…

Eli Broad, a philanthropist and co-founder of KB Home, the fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, yesterday said he expects home prices to drop another 20 percent.

“I don’t think we’re anywhere near a bottom in housing,” Broad told Bloomberg TV yesterday at the Milken Institute Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “We’re going to have a big inventory of unsold, unoccupied homes that’s going to take three or four years to clear out.”

See also:

AP: “Number of US homes facing foreclosure jumps 112 percent in first quarter from 2007” (4/29/08)
“What would normally alleviate the foreclosure situation in a normal market is people starting to buy properties again,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s vice president of marketing.

However, the unavailability of loans for people without perfect credit and a significant down payment is slowing the process, he said.

“It’s a cycle that’s going to be difficult to break, and we’re certainly not at the breaking point just yet,” Sharga added…

The flood of foreclosed properties on the market has contributed to falling or stagnating home values, yet lenders have yet to implement heavy discounts on repossessed homes, Sharga said…

The other states among the top 10 with the highest foreclosure rates [besides Nevada, California, Arizona and Florida] were Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Boston Globe: “Housing prices keep falling as slump enters its third year” (4/29/08)
Prices for home sales that closed in March fell nearly 11 percent from March 2007, the largest decline since 1990, and the number of sales reported during that period was down more dramatically – 32 percent – according to the Boston real estate data firm, Warren Group…

While condominium prices had been holding up better than single-family prices, that market is slow, too.

Sales plunged 35.6 percent in March from a year ago, according to Warren Group.

Condo developers are increasingly turning to auctions to unload units, both in Boston and the suburbs…

Springfield Republican: “Rate of home seizures rising” (4/27/08)
Nearly 3,000 Massachusetts homeowners had their property foreclosed in the first quarter of 2008, according to a study released Thursday by the Warren Group, a provider of real-estate data for New England. There were 1,167 foreclosure deeds filed across the state in March, more than twice the number – 486 – recorded a year ago. It was also up from the number recorded this February, which was 860…

“…March’s numbers have shown us that Massachusetts’
foreclosure problems continue to worsen [said Timothy Warren Jr.] With steady
increases in petitions, I don’t see this problem going
away any time soon.”

Springfield Republican: Hampshire County Home Sales Fall 21% in Q1 (4/24/08)
The median sales price of homes in the Pioneer Valley fell 4.9 percent
to $195,000 in the first quarter of this year compared with the same
time period of 2007.

The number of homes sold [in] Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire counties
also fell 27.6 percent in January, February and March to 705 homes from
974 in the first quarter of 2007, according to the Realtor Association
of Pioneer Valley…

The number of unsold homes on the local market has also doubled since the housing boom was going full bore in 2005…

Bloomberg: “New-Home Sales in the U.S. Plunged More Than Forecast in March” (4/24/08)
Purchases of new homes in the U.S. plunged more than forecast in March
to the lowest level in almost 17 years as stricter loan rules and
falling prices caused buyers to hold off.

Sales dropped 8.5 percent to an annual pace of 526,000, the fewest
since October 1991, from a 575,000 rate the prior month, the Commerce
Department said today in Washington. The median sales price slumped
13.3 percent from the same time last year, the most in almost four

…the supply of homes at the current sales rate jumped to 11 months, the most since September 1981.

Sales were down 37 percent from March 2007.

Purchases dropped in all four regions, led by a 19 percent decline in the Northeast…