National Home Price Declines Continue Improvement

National housing prices fell 7.8% in June 2009 compared to June 2008, representing the smallest year-over-year decline recorded to date in 2009, according to newly released data from First American CoreLogic's LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI). June's decline was a 0.7% improvement over the 8.5% decline in May.

‘Year-over-year and seasonal home-price trends continued to move in positive directions in June. However, the economy continues to contract, and there is a large overhang of distressed properties that have yet to clear," says Mark Fleming, First American CoreLogic's chief economist. "Until supply and demand imbalances adjust to more normal levels, future home-price movements will remain sluggish."

For the first time in four years, seasonal price trends in the spring and summer exhibited their normal patterns, as home prices improved by 3.3% between January and June, the HPI shows.

The seasonal improvement in prices during the first half was driven by a decline in distressed sales rather than an increase in traditional-home sales prices, First American CoreLogic notes.
"If the decline in distressed sales is sustainable, and not simply a result of recent foreclosure moratoriums, this could be the first step toward recovery, which will then be followed by outright price increases that will result in continued upward price trends," a company statement points out.

Nevada remained the top-ranked state for annual price depreciation (-25.4%), barely edging out Florida (-25.1%), which, unlike other hard-hit states, is experiencing worsening price declines in 2009.

California (-17%) continued to improve in June, and its depreciation rate is the lowest since October 2007. Arizona (-16.2%) and Illinois (-14.8%) round out the top five states for price declines.

SOURCE: First American CoreLogic


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