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Phoenix leads U.S. home price decline as lenders unload houses

[Source: Kathleen M. Howley, Bloomberg] — Phoenix, the desert city that three years ago led the U.S. in home price growth, had the nation’s worst housing market during October as sales of foreclosed properties depressed prices.  The cost of a single-family home plunged 33% from a year earlier, according to an S&P/Case Shiller index.  The decline was worse than Las Vegas, where prices fell 32%, and San Francisco, where they dropped 31%.  U.S. house prices fell 18% in October, a record in eight years of data.

Arizona had 11,000 notices in October of so-called trustee sales, or foreclosure auctions, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate data firm in Irvine, California.  Foreclosure sales reduce the value of similar properties in the same area as sellers who aren’t in distress are forced to drop their prices to compete.  “This was a case of the higher they climb, the faster and harder they fell,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.  Phoenix home prices at their 2006 peak had almost tripled within nine years, he said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix tops list for U.S. home price declines

[Source: Adam Kress, Phoenix Business Journal] — A new read on the housing market shows Phoenix home values have dropped nearly 31% in the past 12 months — the steepest decline of any major city in the nation.  Home prices across the country fell in August for the 25th consecutive month and prices in 10 major markets plunged a record 17.7% from August 2007, according to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price 10-city index.  From July to August, prices dropped 1.1%.  The 20-city index marked a record year-over-year decline of 16.6% with a 1% fall from July to August. 

The hardest hit of all 20 cities on a year-over-year basis was Phoenix, where prices plummeted 30.7% during the past 12 months.  Las Vegas prices plunged 30.6% and Miami sank 28.1%.  The cities that held up the best were Dallas, which saw a decline of just 2.7%; Charlotte, N.C., down 2.8%; and Boston, off 4.7%.  No city showed a price gain during over the last 12 months.  From July to August, San Francisco saw the biggest price decline, down 3.5%.  Phoenix prices fell 2.9% and Las Vegas homes lost 2.4% in value.  Two cities showed gains in August.  Cleveland prices rose 1.1% and Boston prices inched up 0.1%.

The S&P Case-Shiller indexes compare the sale prices of the same homes year-to-year and are considered one of the most accurate home price gauges.

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.