The housing double dip is official: US home prices fell in the first quarter to a new recession low, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller price index.
“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. “The National Index fell 4.2% over the first quarter alone, and is down 5.1% compared to its year-ago level. Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight,” he added.
The folks at Capital Economics write in with this gloomy tidbit: “The further fall in house prices in the first quarter means that, on the Case-Shiller index, prices have now fallen by more than they did during the Great Depression.”
By their calculations, prices are now down 33% from their 2006 peak, compared with the 31% decline during the Depression.
“The remarkable thing about this downturn is that even though prices have fallen by more than in the Great Depression, the bottom has yet to be reached. We think that prices will fall by at least a further 3% this year, and perhaps even further next year.”