The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report for February 2009 was released two days ago. Although prices continue to decline, the report says "the pace of the decline in residential real estate prices slowed in February."
"...shows continued broad based declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States, with 10 of the 20 metro areas showing record rates of annual decline, and 15 reporting declines in excess of 10% versus February 2008. For the first time in 16 months, however, the annual decline of the 10-City and 20-City composites did not set a new record."
“While the declines in residential real estate continued into February, we witnessed some deceleration in the rate of decline in some of the markets,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “All 20 metro areas recorded a monthly decline in February, but 16 of the 20 metro areas saw an improvement in their monthly returns compared to January. Nine of the 20 metro areas showed improvement in their annual returns compared to their returns in January. Furthermore, this is the first month since October 2007 where the 10- and 20-City Composites did not post a record annual decline. We will certainly need a few more months of data before we can determine if home prices are finally turning around.”
Unfortunately, the DC area's market was not one of the 16 metro areas showing improvement in monthly returns. YoY, prices fell 19.19% and, from January to February, prices declined 2.3%. The DC area's home price index is close to that of February 2004.
The charts below reflect home price data for the Washington, DC MSA.