For many homeowners, the real estate market has turned, well, unreal.The average home price fell 18.22% since its peak in the second quarter of 2006, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price index.
“Not one market is showing a positive return over the past 12 months and seven of the metro areas are reporting declines in excess of 20.0%,” says David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.
S&P Chief Economist David Wyss sees more downside risk ahead. He believes the peak-to-trough decline for the S&P/Case-Schiller index will be 28% with the bottom coming in the fourth quarter of 2009.
But Lehman Brothers Economist Michelle Meyer points out home prices fell at a slower-than-expected pace in the second quarter while consumer confidence improved.