Waterloo-Cedar Falls home prices up, prices down nationally - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo-Cedar Falls home prices up, prices down nationally

WATERLOO (KWWL) - National housing prices fell 12.2 percent in February from a year ago and have declined for 24 consecutive months, according to newly released data from real estate data source First American CoreLogic and its Home Price Index (HPI). Over the past three months there has been a small but noticeable acceleration in home price decline, reversing what appeared to be a stabilizing trend in the fall of 2008.

In Waterloo-Cedar Falls, home prices have increased 1.43 percent in February compared to a year ago. In January 2009, Waterloo-Cedar Falls showed an increase of 1.43 percent compared to one year prior.

The depth and breadth of price declines continued to worsen in February. More than 700 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) experienced home price depreciation, up from 402 CBSAs experiencing depreciation just six months ago. Over 100 CBSAs were experiencing double digit declines, compared to 83 six months ago.

"Over one-fifth of U.S. housing wealth has vanished and home prices continue to decline. Decreases are now being driven by rising unemployment and a high volume of distressed home sales. Given that home prices are generally a lagging indicator of market health, we believe the largest declines have already taken place, but we expect home prices to continue to decline into 2010 as economic conditions and excess housing inventories dampen prices," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic.

Nevada (-26.7 percent) was the top ranked state for price depreciation, followed very closely by California (-26.5 percent), Arizona (-21.1 percent), Florida (-19.7 percent) and Rhode Island (-19.5 percent), according to the report. However high depreciation states is that rate of price declines has been decelerating the last few months.

Although prices declines are beginning to stabilize for the very high depreciation markets, the price trends among a next tier of states that are experiencing double digit declines is worsening. These states include Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Massachusetts and Virginia. Of these six states, Washington and Oregon stand out as having experienced the largest acceleration in price declines during the last year.

Since U.S. home prices peaked in July 2006, they have declined 22.7 percent on a cumulative basis and are currently down to the lowest price level in over five years.

Among the country's 35 largest metropolitan markets, or Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA), 10 markets show depreciation of more than 20 percent.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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