20-City Home Price Index Down 33.8% from 2006 Peak

A closely watched home price index of 20 U.S. cities ended 2011 with a 4 percent decline over the fourth quarter 2010, and dipped 1.1 percent in December versus the previous month, according to the latest report from the S&P/Case-Shiller indices.
The national composite index ended on a new low, with 18 out of 20 cities seeing monthly declines in December 2011 over November.
Compared to its June/July 2006 peak, the S&P/Case Shiller 20-city composite index has plummeted 33.8 percent.
For December versus November 2011, Miami and Phoenix were up 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
Atlanta continued to post the lowest annual return with a decline of 12.8 percent. Detroit was the only city to post a positive annual return, +0.5 percent, in December versus the same month in 2010.
Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa each saw average home prices hit new lows in December.
“In terms of prices, the housing market ended 2011 on a very disappointing note,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “While we thought we saw some signs of stabilization in the middle of 2011, it appears that neither the economy nor consumer confidence was strong enough to move the market in a positive direction as the year ended.”
The pick-up in the economy has simply not been strong enough to keep home prices stabilized, Blitzer said.
“If anything it looks like we might have reentered a period of decline as we begin 2012,” Blitzer.

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