Data from the first three months of the year, released by Standard & Poor’s, reveal that the US Home Price Index declined by 4.2 percent in the first quarter. This decrease follows another one of 3.6 percent in the last quarter of 2010.
Compared to the first quarter of 2010, the US Home Price Index fell by 5.1 percent, putting current home prices at the same level they had back in 2002.
The index’s 20-City composite fell below its previously historic low of 139.26 recorded in April 2009. The annual rate of decline was 3.6 percent. The sharpest annual decline was recorded in Minneapolis, of 10 percent. The only metropolitan area that recorded price increases was Washington DC. Home prices in Washington DC posted a monthly increase of by 1.1 percent and an annual increase of 4.3 percent. Seattle also recorded a light increase of 0.1 percent, but the region is still 7.5 percent lower than in March last year. The 10-City composite also recorded a decline of 2.9 percent on an annual basis.
Thirteen of the 20 metropolitan areas in the 20-City composite have gone deeper into negative rates. The annual rates of Seattle, Phoenix and Chicago remained steady.
S&P Inces representative, David Blitzer, said that an increasing number of real estate markets have been posting new record lows since December 2010. He added that Washington DC was, at the moment, the only metropolitan area that shows optimistic prospects.