A national home price index fell 1.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, and a separate 20-city index dropped 1.4 percent for the month of March compared to March 2006.

It was the second time in the history of the index that the annual national growth rate was negative — the first time was in 1990-91.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index, which tracks the value of single-family housing for the nine U.S. Census divisions, dropped 0.7 percent in the first quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2006.

“The fall of the national index into negative territory, after more than 15 years of positive annual growth, is a reaffirmation of the pullback in the U.S. residential real estate market,” said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC, in a statement. MacroMarkets owns licensing rights for the indices.

“The national index was yielding solid returns as recently as a year ago.” He noted that first-quarter-2006 growth rates were up 11.5 percent compared to first-quarter 2005, “a sharp contrast to the returns we are seeing today.”

Detroit and San Diego had the largest annual declines in March — at 8.4 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Phoenix and Las Vegas have had the sharpest drop from their peaks, according to the report. Phoenix had a growth rate of 49.3 percent in September 2005 but registered a 3 percent annual price drop in March.

And Las Vegas, which was up 53.2 percent in September 2004, plummeted to a year-over-year price decline of 1.6 percent in March.

Seven of the 20 cities tracked on a monthly basis had year-over-year price growth in March. Seattle had a 10 percent gain, followed by Charlotte at 7.4 percent, Portland at 7 percent, Atlanta at 2 percent, Dallas at 1.6 percent, Chicago at 1.3 percent and Miami at 1 percent.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are published at 9 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of each month. The indices are designed to track the price path of typical single-family homes, based on matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses for home sales at fair market value.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
The best event in real estate kicks off next week! Tickets are selling quickly.Register Now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription