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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Home Prices Still Declining, But Tick Up In July

UPDATED at 9:26 a.m.:

Home prices are still declining on a year-over-year basis, but they show some signs of lessening their decline, according to the July Case-Shiller home price index, released this morning. Prices ticked up for the third month in a row, on a month-to-month basis.

In the Washington area, home prices are still down 9.8 percent compared with last year, but ticked up 1.8 percent from June to July of this year.

Of the 20 metro areas surveyed, all 20 showed improvement in the annual rate of decline.

Eighteen of the 20 areas saw an increase in prices over the past six months, though they are still in decline year-over-year.

Nineteen of the 20 areas saw home prices above their lows of this crisis.

Here are some of the metro areas and their year-over-year declines:

- Dallas: down 1.6 percent.

- Detroit: down 24.6 percent. (Self-explanatory.)

- Las Vegas: down 31.4 percent. (The overbuilt Sun Belt has been hit hardest by home price drops.)

- New York: down 10.3 percent. (A finite real estate footprint, much like D.C., has helped insulate home prices in the New York area.)

- Phoenix: down 28.5. (Again, Sun Belt.)

- Tampa: down 18.4 percent.

Here are some of the June-to-July numbers:

- Detroit: UP 1.1 percent. (I can't explain it. Could it be Detroit has hit a bottom? Cash-for-clunkers runoff?)

- D.C.: up 1.8 percent.

- San Francisco: up 3.3 percent.

So it's not good news, year-over-year, but it's less-bad news over recent months.

Some of the recent home-price bump may have come from buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which expires at the end of November, though the housing industry is pushing Congress to extend it.

And don't forget rising foreclosures, as the unemployment rate rises toward 10 percent.

"With an expected pick up in foreclosures, continued compression in higher end home prices and the uncertain fate of the tax credit, we'll see if the improvements in pricing can continue in the face of this," Miller Tabak analyst Peter Boockvar writes this morning. "The worst of the financial crisis will end when home prices stop going down and I don’t believe we’ve seen the worst of the price declines in this cycle notwithstanding the recent government induced bounce."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  September 29, 2009; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, home prices  
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Home prices in the VA metro area are still ~$100K+ overpriced. The housing bubble greed mentality is still in place, unfortunately.

Posted by: tjhall1 | September 29, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

possible explanation for Detroit uptick: there's been some national publicity about how amazingly low home prices tend to be there

Posted by: newageblues | September 29, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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