Sunday, June 1, 2008

Single-family home prices tumble in March

Single-family home prices fell 14.4 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index. Separately, the Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose for the first time in six months while the unsold inventory of new homes declined for the twelfth consecutive month. In other news, The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence measure declined from 62.8 in April to 57.2 in May on consumer worries about housing, higher fuel and food costs, and the future of the economy.

For my Readers:
  • S&P’s survey of 20 markets showed a 2.2 percent price decline in March. A 10-market survey showed a 2.4 percent monthly decline and a 15.3 percent overall drop. In California, Los Angeles prices fell 21.7 percent in March compared with a year ago, while San Diego fell 20.5 percent.
  • New home sales edged up 3.3 percent in April after an 11 percent drop in March to an annualized rate that remains 42 percent below last year’s levels. The good news: Inventory feel 2.4 percent to a 10.6-month supply, down from 11.1 months in March.
  • Consumer Confidence fell to the lowest level since October 1992. Other measures also dropped considerably: The group’s measure of present conditions dropped from 81.9 in April to 74.4 in May, and its gauge of expectations through the end of 2008 declined from 50.0 in April to 45.7 in May. The Conference Board also reported that the percentage of consumers planning to buy a home sometime during the next six months fell from 2.5 percent in April to 2.1 percent in May.

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