SAN FRANCISCO - Regional home prices continued to fall at an accelerating pace in April, establishing yet another record low, according to a closely watched real estate market analysis.
The price of a typical single-family home in the San Francisco area plunged 22.1 percent compared with a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index. The study, published by New York credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, defines the region as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
The 10-City Composite index, tracking major U.S. markets, decreased 16.3 percent, also the largest decline in more than 20 years of data. Among the 20 regions tracked by S&P/Case-Shiller, 13 posted record annual lows and, for the first time at least in this market cycle, all stood in negative territory. Las Vegas and Miami were the worst off, down 26.8 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively.
Bay Area home prices declined 20.2 percent year-over-year in March, 17.2 percent in February and 13.2 percent in January. April prices were off 2.2 percent from the prior month.
The indexes show the overall price trend in specific metropolitan areas. Many of the cities or neighborhoods within these regions performed better or worse. Areas like San Francisco and much of the Peninsula have held up relatively well, for instance, but the net figure has been dragged down by steep drops in outlying areas like eastern Contra Costa County.
Many real estate experts consider the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes and others like them more accurate gauges of real estate trends than the median price approach used by other groups. Because they track the value only of homes that have traded hands at least twice, the indexes chart the actual increase or decrease in specific homes.
Median surveys compare prices for homes sold in one month to an entirely different set sold in the next, meaning they can be artificially distorted when a higher proportion of homes sell in the lower- or higher-priced tier in a given period.
[Via SF Gate]