Home Price Declines Sharpen In New Areas

rice declines in hard-hit states like Nevada and California are decelerating, but states that have had more moderate decreases are seeing an accelerated rate of price deterioration, [link=http://www.loanperformance.com/pressreleases/LoanPerformance_HPIMar09v3_052609.pdf][u]First American CoreLogic[/u][/link] says. National housing prices in March fell 11.5% year-over-year, but they showed a slight improvement over February's 11.7% year-over-year decrease, according to the company's LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI). Nevada and California rank first and second, respectively, for annual price depreciation, but California's decline was the smallest since March 2008 and Nevada's was its smallest decline in six months. Rhode Island (-21.2%) jumped to the third and is currently the only state among the top five that continues to experience a consistent acceleration in price declines. Florida (-21.1%) and Arizona (-20.%) round out the top five annual price depreciation states. Thirty-three states have exhibited acceleration in the rate of price declines in the last three months, and 14 states exhibited double-digit annual declines as of March – up from seven states a year ago, according to the HPI. "Home prices continued to decline in March, but the real story was the geographic dispersion of home price declines," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic. "Homeowners in many parts of the country are coming under stress from a loss in equity, rising delinquencies and foreclosures, and economic uncertainty." Among the country's 35 largest metropolitan markets, nine markets are experiencing an annual depreciation of more than 20%, the report finds. Fleming notes that declines are particularly pronounced in expensive neighborhoods that have mean property values of more than $1 million. "In these neighborhoods, mortgage delinquency performance is worsening at a faster pace than the overall national delinquency rate, although the rate of delinquencies in these high-end neighborhoods is still much lower than the U.S. overall," he says. Since U.S. home prices peaked in July 2006, national home prices have declined 22.3% on a cumulative basis and are currently down to the lowest price level in more than five years. SOURCE: First American Co


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