Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First American CoreLogic: House Prices Decline 0.3% in March

by Bill McBride on 5/19/2010 12:31:00 PM

From LoanPerformance: CoreLogic Home Price Index Shows Second Consecutive Annual Increase

National home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 1.7 percent in March 2010 compared to March 2009, according to CoreLogic and its Home Price Index (HPI). This was an improvement over February’s year-over-year price increase of 0.8 percent.* Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased in March by 1.9 percent; an improvement over the February non-distressed HPI which fell by 0.2 percent year-over-year.

On a month-over-month basis, the national average home price index fell by 0.3 percent in March 2010 compared to February 2010, which was more moderate than the previous one month decline of 1.7 percent from January to February.
...
“March’s year-over-year increase in the HPI shows that the housing market is continuing to exhibit signs of stability,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The differences between trends, including and excluding distressed sales, indicate the strong influence of distressed activity remains, but the surge in home sales in March is giving the market a boost this spring. As the influence of the tail end of the tax credit and spring buying season fade, price growth will fade with it as we go into summer.”
Loan Performance House Price Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the national LoanPerformance data since 1976. January 2000 = 100.

The index is up 1.7% over the last year, and off 30.5% from the peak.

House prices are off 4.8% from the recent peak in August 2009 (although some of the decline is seasonal). The index bottomed last March ... so the index is also up 1.7% from the recent low.

With all the distressed sales and government programs, it is hard to separate the seasonal factors from other distortions. However I expect that we will see lower prices on this index later this year.

Note: This is the house price index the Fed now uses for the Flow of Funds report.