Phoenix home prices drop 29% in one year

[Source: Arizona Republic staff and wire reports] — July home prices in Phoenix were down a record 29% from a year earlier, according to a closely watched housing index released Tuesday.  The Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index fell 16.3% in July, with home prices tumbling by the sharpest annual rate since the index was created in 2000.  Although the monthly rate of decline is slowing, experts say there is no turnaround in sight.

According to the index, which is based on same-home resale transactions, only Las Vegas experienced a sharper year-over-year decline in home values than Phoenix, with a 30% drop.  Miami was third with a 28% decline.  Phoenix home values have steadily decreased since the housing market’s peak in 2006, although the rate of decline has slowed in recent months.  They dropped 2.7% from June to July, according to the index.

Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted nearly 20% since peaking in July 2006.  No city in the Case-Shiller 20-city index saw annual price gains in July — for the fourth straight month.  However, the pace of monthly declines is slowing, a possible silver lining.  Between May and July, for example, home prices fell at a cumulative rate of 2.2% — less than half the cumulative rate experienced between February and April.

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