Data through February 2010, released today by Standard & Poor's (S&P) for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, show that the annual rates of decline of the 10-city and 20-city composites improved in February compared to January 2010.
For the first time since December 2006, the annual rates of change for the two composites were positive, with the 10-city composite up 1.4% from where it was in February 2009, and the 20-city composite up 0.6% versus the same time last year. However, 11 of 20 cities saw year-over-year declines, the indices show.
Eighteen of the 20 metro areas and both composites showed an improvement in their annual rates with this month's readings compared to the January 2010 figures, with Dallas and Portland, Ore., being the exceptions.
‘Beginning last November, each report showed gains as fewer cities reported year-over-year declines than in the previous month; those gains ended with this report," explains David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P's Index Committee. "Further, in six cities, prices were at their lowest levels since the prices peaked three to four years ago. These data point to a risk that home prices could decline further before experiencing any sustained gains."
"It is too early to say that the housing market is recovering,’ Blitzer adds, noting that 14 of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and both composites have fallen for at least four consecutive months.
San Diego was the only market that continued to show improvement in home prices between January and February. All other metros and the two composites showed declines from their January levels – some of which were fairly significant – with 12 of the MSAs falling by at least 1% during the month, the indices show.
Six of the MSAs – Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; New York; Portland, Ore.; Seattle and Tampa, Fla. – posted new index lows as measured in the current housing cycle where, depending on the market, peaks occurred in either 2006 or 2007