Home prices fall by record 19.1 percent in 1Q

U.S. home prices showed no signs they’ve hit bottom, according to a series of national indexes released Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index showed a record 19.1% drop in home prices for the first three months of this year.

Los Angeles-area home prices, which include Orange County, were down 41% in March from their 2006 peak. Los Angeles is among 10 metro areas down more than 30% from their peak price levels, with Phoenix’s 53% decline in March from its peak the most severe.

Dallas, where prices did not inflate as much during the housing bubble as metro areas in California, Arizona and Nevada, recorded the smallest decline from its peak, 11%.

Los Angeles-area prices are down 22% from March a year ago. Phoenix’s 36% March decline from last year led the nation, followed by San Francisco, where March prices were 30% below the same month the previous year.


The Case-Shiller index is a quarterly measure that covers the entire U.S.

Standard and Poor’s also publishes monthly 10-city and 20-city home price indexes. Those indexes fell by just under 19% in March from the year before, and dropped a bit over 2% from February.

March was the second time since October 2007 that the 10-city and 20-city indexes did not post a record annual decline, and the drop from February was identical to the January-February decline.

That was a “positive note” for the housing market, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P; index committee. “However, we see no evidence that a recovery in home prices has begun,” he said.


The Case-Shiller index uses an index score rather than a dollar figure to state price levels. It compares sales of specific homes with their previous sales and compensates for changes to the property such as remodeling. An index score of 100 reflects January 2000 pricing. In March, the L.A.-area index number was 160.88.