Prices of single-family homes declined in 20 metropolitan areas by 0.2 percent from January to February, according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index released today. This decrease places the current composite index of 139.7, just slightly above the 2009 year low of 139.26. The current average home price is in line with the cost of homes in summer 2003.
In Miami, the decrease in home prices year over year is even greater. Case-Shiller reports a 2 percent decline from January to February 2011 and a 6.2 percent decline from February 2010 to February 2011, making Miami one of the harder hit metropolitan areas in the country. Yet, it is not the worst; since February 2010, Portland has experienced a 7 percent decrease in home prices, Seattle, a 7.5 percent decline, Chicago has a 7.6 percent decrease, Minneapolis has a 8.3 percent decrease and Phoenix, a 8.4 percent decline.
Despite doing better than many metropolitan cities, South Florida’s 6.2 percent drop in home prices marks a new low for the third consecutive month in February 2011, according to Case-Shiller
Yet, the March Florida Realtor’s housing report, which tracks median prices of homes sold in a month, contradicts Case-Shiller’s data for Broward County. That report concluded the average price increased 8 percent compared to 2010.
Analysts say, however, that Case-Shiller is a better indicator of Florida’s housing market since it takes into account prices of the same listed house over time. The S&P/Case-Shiller index is also based on a three-month average.
The chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, David Blitzer, attributes the continuing decrease in home sales to weakening prices, and disappointing trends in sales and construction.