The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report for March 2009 was released today. The report says "the U.S. National Home Price Index continues to set record declines, a trend that began in late 2007 and prevailed throughout 2008."
"Declines in residential real estate continued at a steady pace into March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “All 20 metro areas are still showing negative annual rates of change in average home prices with nine of the metro areas having record annual declines. Seventeen metro areas recorded a monthly decline in March, with Minneapolis, Detroit and New York posting record monthly declines. On a positive note, nine of MSAs are reporting a relative improvement in year-over-year returns and nine of the 20 metro areas saw an improvement in their monthly returns compared to February. Furthermore, this is the second month since October 2007 where the 10- and 20-City Composites did not post a record annual decline. Based on the March data, however, we see no evidence that that a recovery in home prices has begun...
As of March 2009, average home prices across the United States are at similar levels to what they were in the fourth quarter of 2002. From the peak in the second quarter of 2006, average home prices are down 32.2%."
YoY, DC area prices fell 18.36% and, from February to March, prices declined 1.2%. Compared to previous months, the steepness of the price decline slope appears to be lessening. The DC area's home price index is close to that of December 2003.
The charts below reflect home price data for the Washington, DC MSA.