No Housing Bottom: Home Prices Decline For 7th Consecutive Month, Lowest Since 2003
The November Case Shiller is out and while not surprising to most, some of those calling for a near-term housing bottom may be advised to reassess (for the 5th year in a row). According to the Top 20 City index composite, prices declined in 17 of 20 MSAs, with gains posted only in Phoenix, Denver and Minneapolis. At 137.52, the Seasonally Adjusted composite dropped to the lowest since February 2003, and is now a third lower than the housing peak in April 2006. Yet the worst news is that, even with a 2 month delay, the housing drop accelerated into the end of the year, and the sequential drop of 0.7% was the biggest decline since March 2011. Which means that except for that errant spike in home prices in April 2011, we have now seen 18 consecutive months of housing price declines since that "rebound" in late 2009. "Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement. "The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand." Yet just like in Europe, the improvement is coming. Aaaaany minute now.