An index measuring the price per square foot of homes in 25 U.S. metro areas declined in every location except Milwaukee in November 2008 compared to November 2007.

Several other price and sales reports reveal a pattern of record-low activity in some market metrics as the housing market crawls through one of the slowest periods since the Great Depression.

An index measuring the price per square foot of homes in 25 U.S. metro areas declined in every location except Milwaukee in November 2008 compared to November 2007.

Several other price and sales reports reveal a pattern of record-low activity in some market metrics as the housing market crawls through one of the slowest periods since the Great Depression.

The RPX home-price index, released today by real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic Inc., shows that the price per square foot of homes dropped more than 20 percent in 10 of 25 markets, and fell 30 percent or more in five markets during a 28-day period in November 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier.

San Francisco had the highest decline, at 36.8 percent year-over-year during the November period, followed by Phoenix (down 34.6 percent) and Sacramento, Calif. (down 32.4 percent).

Milwaukee was the only market with a year-over-year increase in the price-per-square-foot index, up 2.4 percent.

The price-per-square-foot index increased in Philadelphia (4.6 percent) and Detroit (0.1 percent) in November 2008 compared to October 2008, and was flat in Seattle. The largest monthly decline in November was in Boston (down 7.7 percent), followed by Tampa, Fla. (down 6.6 percent), and San Francisco (down 6.4 percent).

Radar Logic also reported that Charlotte, Denver and San Jose had record monthly declines — the company’s data goes back to January 2000.

Total real estate transaction counts rose the most in Sacramento (87.6 percent) in November 2008 compared to November 2007, followed by San Diego (71 percent) and Los Angeles (69.4 percent), while dropping most in St. Louis (down 51 percent), Seattle (down 49.4 percent) and Charlotte, N.C. (down 42.6 percent).

Philadelphia was the only market out of 25 tracked with a gain in transaction count from October 2008 to November 2008 (up 37.8 percent). St. Louis had the largest monthly decline in transaction volume (down 42.6 percent), followed by Seattle (down 22.9 percent) and Charlotte (down 22.1 percent).

A separate measure of home-price changes — the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-metro area price index — had a record 18.2 percent drop in November 2008 compared to November 2007, with the index score dropping 20 percent or more for eight metro areas on that list.

The highest year-over-year index drop in the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller index was in Phoenix (down 32.9 percent), followed by Las Vegas (down 31.6 percent) and San Francisco (down 30.8 percent).

The lowest year-over-year index drops were in Dallas (down 3.3 percent) and Denver (down 4.3 percent).

From October 2008 to November 2008 the S&P/Case Shiller 20-metro area index slid 2.2 percent, with the largest drop in Phoenix (down 3.4 percent) and the slightest drop in Denver (down 1.1 percent).

Also this week, the National Association of Realtors reported that the median price of U.S. resale homes dipped 15.3 percent in December compared to the same month last year, with the pace of sales rising 6.5 percent.

The California Association of Realtors reported a huge surge in sales of single-family resale homes in December 2008 compared to the same month in the previous year — an 84.9 percent rise. Meanwhile, median prices headed the other direction, down 41.5 percent.

The U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Thursday that the median price of new single-family homes dropped 9.3 percent from December 2007 to December 2008, with sales plunging 44.8 percent to the lowest level on record (in over 40 years).

The seasonally adjusted annual pace for new-home sales was 331,000 in December — this rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in sales activity.

Last week, Census and HUD reported that the pace of building-permit and housing starts activity fell to record lows in December 2008, having dropped more than 75 percent from market peaks in 2005.

Another measure of price change released earlier this month — the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index — found that U.S. home prices dropped 8.7 percent from November 2007 to November 2008.

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