The average U.S. home price for transactions during November 2011 was $199,000 – the fifth consecutive month of price decreases and a price level not seen since October 2002, according to the latest home price index (HPI) released by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Lender Processing Services (LPS).
The partial data available for December suggests further price declines of approximately 0.8%. The LPS HPI average national home prices continue the downward trend begun after the market peak in June 2006, when the total value of U.S. housing inventory covered by the LPS HPI stood at $10.8 trillion. Since that peak, the value has declined 30.6% to $7.5 trillion.
‘Since the post-bubble drop in home prices eased in January of 2009, we've generally seen that prices for homes in the lowest 20 percent of local markets in the metropolitan areas covered by the LPS HPI now differ by more than the highest 20 percent from their levels 10 years ago,’ says Kyle Lundstedt, managing director of LPS Applied Analytics. ‘In those metropolitan areas where lowest-priced homes have increased in value, the differences between the high and low ends of the market have usually shrunk; where they have decreased in value, the differences have grown.’