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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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Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:20 | 2293926 docj
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".

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:36 | 2293985 johnQpublic
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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:03 | 2294075 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Brusca ?

de Nada

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:13 | 2294085 sessinpo
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 16:43 | 2295570 MiddletonRobert3
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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 .....

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:47 | 2294025 ChrisDG74
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Cramer will be calling the bottom shortly.

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:06 | 2294083 Taterboy
Taterboy's picture

Doesn't he do that everyday?

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:20 | 2293927 virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

epic fed fail..

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:25 | 2293946 gatorengineer
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).......

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:22 | 2293933 gatorengineer
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......

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:38 | 2293989 847328_3527
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:23 | 2293936 DormRoom
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:23 | 2293937 francis_sawyer
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...

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:34 | 2293982 kito
kito's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:42 | 2294012 The Limerick King
The Limerick King's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:59 | 2294065 j0nx
j0nx's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:56 | 2294260 francis_sawyer
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...

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:24 | 2293939 mayhem_korner
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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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:24 | 2293941 Marge N. Callz
Marge N. Callz's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:35 | 2293984 mayhem_korner
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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..."

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:10 | 2294089 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

Sounds like the Knicks

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:17 | 2294114 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:12 | 2294100 Taterboy
Taterboy's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:40 | 2294203 Normalcy Bias
Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:24 | 2293942 GeneMarchbanks
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:25 | 2293943 Global Hunter
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:25 | 2293944 Irish66
Irish66's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:27 | 2293952 francis_sawyer
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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...

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:25 | 2293947 AssFire
AssFire's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:25 | 2293948 kito
kito's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:26 | 2293949 IndicaTive
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?

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:32 | 2293968 djsmps
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:33 | 2293973 kito
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............


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:34 | 2293977 pods
pods's picture

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


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:21 | 2294130 MachoMan
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.

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 09:58 | 2297075 IndicaTive
IndicaTive's picture

Thanks for the advice. Very good.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:51 | 2293951 Zero Govt
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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:58 | 2294060 WonderDawg
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:28 | 2293955 fuu
fuu's picture

Brusca'd again.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:29 | 2293958 Seasmoke
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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:33 | 2293971 francis_sawyer
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...

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:30 | 2293961 overmedicatedun...
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:30 | 2293963 The worst trader
The worst trader's picture

UVXY today anyone?

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:31 | 2293965 monopoly
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:40 | 2294004 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:41 | 2294010 Seasmoke
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

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:31 | 2293966 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Money printing.. MORE. 

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:33 | 2293976 slewie the pi-rat
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! 


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:36 | 2293987 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

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


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:37 | 2293992 MFL8240
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.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:03 | 2294074 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Yaya. Been hearing that for years yet here we are. I'm starting to feel I'll believe that when I see it.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:46 | 2294221 Kayman
Kayman's picture


1. Governments are broke. Fiscal largess cannot increase.

2. The Fed is the last play.

You may be right, you may be wrong.  But I'd cover a large part of your ass.

Just saying...

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:38 | 2294001 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Remind me again - is this the 'whoop-whop' part where we call 'bottom' for the next 5 years....or is this the part where the average joe finaly realises that the is no housing recovery and arson for insurance begins in earnest?


Face facts - until credit is washed out of the system, there will be no housing market.....and at the moment credit is not being washed out of anything - because the Government is too fearful of the repercussions.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:56 | 2294056 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Credit can't be washed out of the system, credit IS the system. But I agree, in general. I would say, "housing won't recover until after the collapse of our monetary system"

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:41 | 2294011 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

OT: Update on spanish house prices

Spanish Home Prices Fall 3.4% in First Quarter, Idealista Says (BBG)




Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:05 | 2294079 schatzi
schatzi's picture

I've been shorting the IBEX (Spanish Stock Exchange) everytime it has a little run up. Esiest money for me this year. The fundamentals are so piss poor and they're stuck in a severe deflationary feedback-loop. Also the more savvy Spanish investors are fleeing the PIIGS into Germany or beyond. Massive capital flight. Banks still need to mark-to-market and with house prices falling further and further, it will just get messier. This is the current train-crash that still needs to hit the headlines.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:42 | 2294014 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

CNBC is spinning this as prices flat.


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:47 | 2294024 yogibear
yogibear's picture

How's loading down the youth with massive school loans working out Wall Street? Those debtors with $100,000 plus school loans won't be buying a house anytime soon.

Another blow to real estate is the current and future increases in property taxes to fund huge public pension pensions coming due over the next 10 years. The Baby Boomers are retiring and they want their nice fat public pensions with their benefits.


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:50 | 2294036 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

Who gives a shit?

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:52 | 2294043 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Hold on! Bob Piss-on-me says "Good news in Housing!"


Good news on housing: Homebuilder Lennar reported excellent numbers this morning. Housing analysts and economists are breathing a sigh of relief, because KB Home had terrible numbers Friday. It now looks like KBH [KBH  9.855    0.235  (+2.44%)   ] was an outlier.

 Lennar [LEN  27.38    0.98  (+3.71%)    ] reported its sharpest rise in orders in three quarters. First-quarter earnings per share was $0.08, compared to analysts’ $0.04 expectation.

 Here's why the Street is breathing a sigh of relief:


a) Orders jumped 33 percent to more than 3,000 homes in the December to February period;

b) the cancellation rate was only 18 percent, well below recent average numbers for the industry which have been in the 20 percent to 30 percent range;

c) average sales price was UP 1 percent sequentially; and

d) incentives were FLAT (12.2 percent of sales) — it is not spending more to get more buyers to sign.

So look what we have: Higher prices, lower sales incentives, tighter cost controls. It all translates into higher gross margins, which were UP (to 20.9 percent).

CEO Stuart Miller said, "New sales orders in the first quarter were encouraging."

You're not kidding.

I am greatly relieved. Housing data have been weaker than expected in the past week, though they continue to show slow improvement. If Lennar came in weak, the entire housing recovery- — modest as it has been — would be called into question.


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:54 | 2294048 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Appearantly, give 2 data points, old Bob can always spot the "outlier".


What a joke.

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 09:58 | 2294059 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Move to DC bitches. Houses flying off the shelves here in the 150-300k range. Multiple contracts on each and bidding wars like the good old days if you are lucky enough to live in a hood that wasn't captured by section 8 renters and illegal aliens. I'm not so my house is still languishing. Manassas Park FTMFW!

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:19 | 2294121 yogibear
yogibear's picture

NY and DC is where the money is. All the tax money and special interest (lobbyist, PACs, etc) in DC have almost an unlimited budget. Hook onto the PAC/special interest  gravy train in DC and  you go to the best restaurants, strip clubs etc with the politicians. Every politician in DC has a price.   

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:33 | 2294178 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Paging Lee (the bottom is in) Adler. The guy got skewered pretty badly yesterday when Ilene copy-pasted his article.

Sadly, Lee insisted on commenting after getting criticism, then resorted to name-calling and pomposity. Lee was unaware that SH is Fight Club and got pounded pretty hard.

Punched him in the face about four times myself. Happy to help out. Welcome to Fight Club, you snotty bitch!

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