U.S. home prices plunged by a record 8. 4 percent in November, marking two years of slowing returns, according to a key index released...
NEW YORK — U.S. home prices plunged by a record 8.4 percent in November, marking two years of slowing returns, according to a key index released Tuesday. Seattle prices bucked the trend, however.
The decline in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 10-city composite-home-price index was the biggest year-to-year drop since a 6.7 percent decrease in October. The November performance was the 11th straight monthly decline. The index tracks prices of existing single-family homes in 10 metropolitan areas.
“Nothing in these numbers suggest a bottoming out. The numbers universally are disappointing,” said David Blitzer, S&P’s managing director and chairman of the index committee. “Maybe when we get into the spring/summer homebuying season and with lower interest rates, maybe it will all come together.”
The broader 20-city composite index also was down year over year, falling 7.7 percent in November.
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Robert Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets and one of the architects of the index, noted that 14 of the 20 metropolitan areas posted their single largest monthly decline on record in November.
Miami led the pullback with a 15.1 percent decline, followed by San Diego at 13.4 percent, Las Vegas at 13.2 percent and Detroit at 13 percent. Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tampa, Fla., also recorded double-digit declines in November.
Only Seattle, Portland and Charlotte, N.C., posted positive annual growth rates. However, Blitzer believes these cities will fall into negative territory in the next few months.
Seattle’s prices were up 1.8 percent annually, slightly ahead of Portland’s 1.3 percent gain but behind Charlotte, the leader at 2.9 percent.
From October to November, Seattle’s prices declined 1.4 percent, widening from the September-to-October dip of 0.9 percent.
The index is considered a strong measure of home prices because it examines price changes of the same property over time, instead of calculating a median price of homes sold during the month.
Information about Seattle home prices was reported by Seattle Times business reporter Elizabeth Rhodes.