United States: September home prices decline more than expected
November 29, 2011
In September, the unadjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price composite index dropped 0.6% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.1% increase recorded in August. A decline was widely anticipated by the market amid the end of the spring-summer season, which usually sees stronger demand for houses. However, the magnitude surprised the market on the downside, as analysts expected a softer 0.1% decline. Home prices dropped 3.6% compared to the same month last year which, nevertheless, represents an improvement over the 3.8% decline observed in August. Moreover, three cities ? Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix ? recorded new crisis lows. However, according to S&P, ?the markets are fairly thin, and the relative lack of closed transactions might be exacerbating the downside. The relative good news is that 14 cities saw improvements in their annual rates of change, versus the six that weakened.?