Case Shiller Finds Home Prices Declined For 9th Consecutive Month In January

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite January being the first of 3 record warm winter months, which saw virtually all other economic indicators boosted on the heels of 'April in February', today's incomplete Case Shiller data (Charlotte, NA was missing), indicated that in the first month of the year, prices across the top 20 MSAs dropped once again, posting a 9th consecutive decline, declining by 0.04% to 136.60. The Seasonally Adjusted print brings the average home price to December 2002 levels. And just to avoid Seasonal Adjustment confusion which courtesy of a record warm winter is all the rage, the NSA data showed a -0.84% drop in January.

Seasonally Adjusted

Non-Seasonally Adjusted

And from the report:

Data through January 2012, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed annual declines of 3.9% and 3.8% for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively. Both composites saw price declines of 0.8% in the month of January. Sixteen of 19 MSAs also saw home prices decrease over the month; only Miami, Phoenix and Washington DC home prices went up versus December 2011. (Due to delays in data reporting, the January 2012 index values for Charlotte are not included in this month’s release). Eight MSAs and both Composites posted new index lows in January. The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded marginal improvements in annual returns over December 2011 when they each posted -4.1%. In addition to the Composites, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa and Washington DC saw their annual rates improve compared to December; while nine of the MSAs saw their annual returns worsen compared to what was reported for December 2011. Denver, Detroit and Phoenix were the only cities to post positive annual growth rates of +0.2%, +1.7% and +1.3%, respectively. Atlanta again posted the lowest annual (and only double-digit negative) return at -14.8%.

“Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop. The 10- and 20- City Composites and eight cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa – made new lows,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “Detroit and Phoenix, two cities that have suffered massive price declines, plus Denver, saw increasing prices versus January 2011. The 10-City Composite was down 3.9% and the 20-City was down 3.8% compared to January 2011.

“Due to delays in reporting for Mecklenburg County, we did not publish a January index level for Charlotte, North Carolina. There was not enough January data to publish an accurate index level this month. We are not sure of the reasons for the delays, but do expect to see the data with next month’s release. We did include data we received from Gaston County, NC, and York County, SC, in the calculation of the 20-City Composite.

“Atlanta continues to stand out in terms of recent relative weakness. It was down 2.1% over the month, and has fallen by a cumulative 19.7% over the last six months. It also posted the worst annual return, down 14.8%. Seven of the cities were down by 1.0% or more over the month. With the new lows, both Composites are now 34.4% off their relative 2006 peaks.”

In January 2012, Denver, Detroit and Phoenix were the only MSAs to post positive annual returns. Month-over-month, Miami, Phoenix and Washington DC were the only cities that recorded positive gains -- up 0.6%, 0.9% and 0.7% in January 2012, respectively. Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites were down 0.8% from their December 2011 levels. Eights MSAs (Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa) and both Composites posted new index lows in January 2012. Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas continue to have average home prices below their January 2000 levels.

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docj's picture

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to tell us how this is further indication that housing has "bottomed" and is "recovering".

johnQpublic's picture



where are you Ilene?

you told us the bottom was in yesterday Ilene.

i'm sure she will correct yesterdays post rreal soon

sessinpo's picture

Paging Robert Brusca Existing home sales signal rebound that is real and Ilene for reposting Lee Adler's .Another Sign Bottom is Behind, House Sales Contracts Rise 14%. Numbers coming out don't support your articles. Please advise Bernanke that he is making you look bad and QE3 must be initiated with rules directing money printing to RE. I repeat, please advise BB to initiate QE3 and direct that money to RE. That is all for the emergency broadcast message. We now return you to the banking sector where they will continue to screw you with derivatives. Thank you for you cooperation.


On another note. HarryM might be getting pissed he paid to much for his RE. Thank goodness he has tenants. Let's hope they are and remain employed to pay the mortgages. Otherwise body guards might be in order.


And for those that want to call me names, my own mother has called me an asshole so go f yourself.

MiddletonRobert3's picture

my roomate's sister makes $85 hourly on the computer. She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $16158 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here .....

ChrisDG74's picture

Cramer will be calling the bottom shortly.

Oh wait, he did that already(in 2009).

Taterboy's picture

Doesn't he do that everyday?

gatorengineer's picture

The feds actions have never meant to do anything other than to 1) prop up equities 2) keep the doors of the zombie banking system open a little longer 3) and to break it beyond any and all repair, and to ensure either a one world socialist outcome (desired), or a Madmax ending (likely).......

gatorengineer's picture

A death of a million cuts is not going to overcome Hopium.  A Black Swan event is going to be need to finally initiate the much over due correction......

847328_3527's picture

Who wants a house when you know it will be worth much less in five years when you go to sell.

Renting is too cheap now and it;s easy to pick up and move to a new/better job.

DormRoom's picture

most of those structures were never 'homes'.  They were financial vehicles built to flip.   It's not surprsing there is no demand.  That market is gone.

francis_sawyer's picture

I was 'very lucky' to have sold a house at full asking price in January...

DC Area... Buyers = 2 government jobs in family... Go figure...

kito's picture

i wonder who will buy all of those dc area homes after federal jobs start disintegrating greek style...............

The Limerick King's picture

Canada is about to start the North American federal job cut party on for the headlines!

j0nx's picture

Been saying that for years yet here we are still pumping away with no end in sight.

francis_sawyer's picture

Oh I'm sure that a big chunk of the area will end up like that couple in Federal Hill, MD (featured a few weeks ago here on ZH) that had never paid a mortgage payments...

Then, the encroach can start happening & we'll begin to see Travon vs. neighboorHOOD watchmen over in Potomac & Bethesda... Ought to be fun!... I'm so sorry I'll miss it...

mayhem_korner's picture



Debt deleveraging doesn't go so far when the underlying "assets" are sopping up the illusion of any equity that once existed.

I suspect anti-depressent sales, like Sturm Ruger, are robust.

Marge N. Callz's picture

I'm sure somebody will be able to spin this as bullish.

mayhem_korner's picture



From CNBC, who reported the nsa values as "flat":

 On a yearly basis, prices fared a little better with January notching a 3.8 percent decline compared to the year before, in line with expectations and an improvement from December's 4.0 percent drop.

So prices fell by less - that's good...?  "We lost...but by only 10 points v. 12 the last game..."

Schmuck Raker's picture

I'd like to thank all those, with stronger stomachs than I, who regularly post CNBC blurbs here on ZH.

Taterboy's picture

Hey Detroit is up! Let's all move to beautiful Detroit. "BANG, BANG" Oops, never mind.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Even those three that recorded positive numbers are coming off of depression levels, that is if you believe the stats.

This 'market' is really only worth monitoring every six months or so since there is no real change coming soon.

Global Hunter's picture

what was that saying all the regulars were posting this time last year (when I first accidently stumbled on this website thanks to a link in an MSM article)?  OH yes I remember Buy The Fecking Dips!  House prices can't go any lower from here I shouldn't think cough cough.

Irish66's picture

20 days till closing on my sale...holding my breath

francis_sawyer's picture

That's what it was like for me (see above)... Luckily, the buyers were VA approved... Certain regulatory hoops to jump thru, but overall it was less worrysome...

AssFire's picture

Detroit is lookin better! Well, it goes to show everything is relative.

kito's picture

Housing bottom.....made of quicksand.....

IndicaTive's picture

I bought my house in 2004. Damn fine ROI. I've been putting off redoing the bathrooms and the kitchen and listing it. If I do that, I'll be upside down. Market value has fallen at least 25%. Kids are older, we're outgrowing it. What's a guy to do?

djsmps's picture

I sold my house in LA in late 2003 and paid cash for a modest house in the midwest. Mine has gone up a little in value, but I'm staying here. On my previous two houses (LA and San Jose) I made an 80% and 100% return. But, I didn't buy them as investments; I was just lucky to buy at the right place and time.

kito's picture

wait till your property becomes necessary for arable farmland......the wave of the future...after continued deflation in the housing market, and after the ravages of u.s. debt deleveraging begin, everybodys property will be worth more as productive cropland............


pods's picture

I am not an investment manager, but I remember a scene in Goodfellas.  


MachoMan's picture

Don't make the improvements and be very negotiable on the sale price...  make sure you also pay the buyer's closing costs, since no one actually can save enough money for a material down payment AND pay closing costs AND provide you with earnest money.  Also, don't be proud...  if you take a small haircut, then just be happy you didn't get scalped.  Get into something different that fits you better and start chipping away at any deficiency/saving money.  Take your emotions out of the deal and sleep better at night.

IndicaTive's picture

Thanks for the advice. Very good.

Zero Govt's picture

meanwhile Goldman Sucks real estate bear 3x ETF has declined for 9 consecutive months

in a stagnating declining RE market this Direxion ETF Bear should be grinding it's way up, instead it's grinding its way down to the toilet!!!

what are these Goldman Sucks champagne charlies investing in, the only Real estate companies doing well? 

In a bear market Direxion staffers are finding bulls to short, Doh! ...bring out the shotgun, it's time to change Direxions stock pickers

WonderDawg's picture

Hopefully you didn't buy any 3x ETF as a long term hold. Those things can kill you. Those are very short term vehicles if you're brave enough to mess with them at all.

fuu's picture

Brusca'd again.

Seasmoke's picture

i wonder why the main threads in ZH are so bearish on housing , while the theads at the top of ZH are very bullish on housing ......Truth vs. Fiction

francis_sawyer's picture

The 'truth' probably is as follows... Probably the EASIEST places to sell a house are in the NY & DC areas... I just mentioned above that it took a fair amount of luck, expense, & effort to get a buyer in DC...

I wouldn't have wanted circumstances any more difficult... That's my 2 cents...

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

what the elite economic clubs hold dear: money is a paper illusion- so magic tricks should work. Ben the head priest has spoken. the lower classes still think money is a real object and thus are limited in creating magic forms of it.

ie MBS, CDO's -options. if only dad had known what the boys at harvaaard were told.

monopoly's picture

Pathetic. Until prices move to the point where a family can afford no more than 28% of their income to go to housing, they will continue to decline. And until this nation has the confidence that our economy is improving on a structural level, not a false level of monopoly money, many will opt out of buying a home either because they cannot afford one or do not feel comfortable buying one. Way easier to rent.

Long way to go here. There will be no recovery. We will just reset at these low levels or lower. There will be no housing boom. It is over, done. You need a cave, that is it. One. Just one.

johnQpublic's picture

whats 28% of both parents working part time at wal-mart or burger king?

Seasmoke's picture

are both parents working at BOTH Walmart and Burger King or are they each working part time at just one of them ?....hard to get the answer without that info

Jason T's picture

Money printing.. MORE. 

slewie the pi-rat's picture

looks like the dollar is being taken down by the rupee~~~just as the brics are getting into newDelhi for their "summit", too! 


Normalcy Bias's picture

Buh Buh But...sales contracts are up 14%!


MFL8240's picture

“Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop".


Short of manipulated games from this group in DC, what were the positive economic signs? Answer, ...none!  This game is coming to an end and soon as the big institutions say enough with this ridiculous over priced stock market sham, the game will end.