U.S. home prices in December fell to their lowest level since the housing crisis, according to the most recent Case-Shiller Index. The report underscores the fact that the current real estate market still represents a prime opportunity for homebuyers.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite fell 1.1 percent in December, resulting in an overall 4 percent downturn for 2011. According to journalist Steve Goldstein in yesterday’s Marketwatch, the index hasn’t been this low since February 2003 and has dropped 33.8 percent from its peak.
All cities saw price declines in December, except for Phoenix and Miami, with Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa reporting record lows. The data on housing prices contrasts with recent reports on activity, possibly showing that the low prices are actually spurring more home sales, according to the Marketwatch article.
Analysts anticipate the possibility of home prices declining even further as unreleased foreclosure and bank-owned properties—referred to as “shadow inventory”—have yet to hit the market. While the foreclosure inventory has reported signs of decreasing over the past two years, there are still a significant number of distressed properties affecting the marketplace and home prices in general.
Published with permission from RISMedia.