US home prices hit new low
Prices of US homes have not been this low since 2002, when that year’s S&P Case-Shiller national home price index was released. The latest data comes from the most recent S&P Case-Shiller index.The 4.2 percent decline in the past few months marks the third straight quarterly fall which now is also down 5.1 percent from a year ago. Nationwide prices are down an average of 32.7 percent from five years ago.“This month's report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation," said David Blitzer, spokesman for Standard and Poor's reported CNNMoney. As unemployment continues and prices rise, fewer Americans are willing to risk buying a home. Meanwhile foreclosures continue as people are unable to sell their homes and hold down jobs in America’s volatile jobs market. Many analysts had hoped the housing market was turning around, given spikes in 2009 and 2010, however it is now believed that those spikes were merely short lived and occurred due to the already expired first-time home buyer’s tax credit enacted by the US Congress."The rebound in prices seen in 2009 and 2010 was largely due to the first-time home buyers tax credit," Blitzer commented. "Excluding the results of that policy, there has been no recovery or even stabilization in home prices during or after the recent recession."Another index compiled by S&P Case-Shiller also indicated that home prices in America’s top 20 cities has also fallen consistently over the past eight months. The housing market is clearly in a double-dip decline even though some experts have claimed the recession is over. If in fact the recession has ended, the post-recession continual decline in the US housing market could be an alarming sign of an impending second recession.