Case-Shiller: January's housing prices indicate end of real estate bounce

Housing prices fell from December to January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices. That indicates the government sponsored housing bounce has ended.

Tuesday's release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for January 2010 (browse the dashboard) reported that the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 price index declined slightly since December further indicating that the government sponsored housing bounce has drawn to a close.

It’s important to remember that the CSI data is lagged by two months and that today’s results represent the trend of prices paid from home sales closed between November-January of 2009.

Now that the strongest selling months have been reported, look for all remaining CSI releases until early spring to continue to indicate notable price weakness coming from typical seasonal declines as well as extra-seasonal declines as a result of reduced demand from activity that was “stimulated” forward into the summer and early fall by the tax sham.

Also, looking at the 1990s-era comparison charts below its obvious that even after the main downward thrust has been reached, the housing markets have a long tough slog ahead with the ultimate bottom likely many years out…. Or if we are currently experiencing the Japanese model… decades out.

Further, is important to remember that the 90s housing recovery played out against the backdrop of a truly unique period of growth in the wider economy fueled primarily by novel and ubiquitous technological change (cell phones, internet, personal computers, telecommunications, etc).

Today, we may not be so lucky.

The 10-city composite index declined 0.04% as compared to January 2009 while the 20-city composite declined 0.70% over the same period.

Topping the list of regional peak decliners was Las Vegas at -55.78%, Phoenix at -50.86%, Miami at -47.19%, Detroit at -42.47% and Tampa at -41.96%.

Additionally, both of the broad composite indices show significant peak declines slumping -30.23% for the 10-city national index and -29.63% for the 20-city national index on a peak comparison basis.

To better visualize today’s results use to view the full release.

Also, follow the S&P/Case-Shiller dashboard.

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