Home values posted the largest decline in the first quarter since late 2008, prompting many economists to push back their estimates of when the housing market will hit a bottom.Personally, I think that if the federal government hadn't tried to artificially prop up housing prices in 2009-2010, the market would already have hit bottom and we'd be seeing recovering housing prices now. The desire to avoid housing pain in 2009 simply delayed the pain until 2011.
Home values fell 3% in the first quarter from the previous quarter and 1.1% in March from the previous month, pushed down by an abundance of foreclosed homes on the market, according to data to be released Monday by real-estate website Zillow.com. Prices have now fallen for 57 consecutive months, according to Zillow.
Last year, the housing market showed signs of improving as price depreciation slowed in some markets and stabilized in others. In response, a number of economists began forecasting that housing would hit a bottom in late 2011, then begin to recover. But the improvements, spurred by federal programs that gave buyers up to $8,000 in tax credits, proved fleeting. Sales collapsed when the credits expired last summer, and prices in many markets have been falling ever since.
While most economists expected sales to decline after tax credits expired, the drag on the market has been greater than many anticipated. "We expected December and January to be bad" as the market reeled from the after-effects of the tax credit, said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. But monthly declines for February and March were "really staggering," he said. They indicate "a reflection of the true underlying demand, which is now apparent because most of the tax credit is out of the system, and it's being completely overwhelmed by supply." ...
Prices are decelerating in large part because the many foreclosed properties that often sell at a discount force other sellers to lower their prices.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
U.S. housing price decline accelerating
According to Zillow.com, in Q1 2011 housing prices experienced their biggest quarterly decline since 2008: