U.S. home prices continue to slide, though at a slower rate than in the winter, according to a report from data and valuation firm Clear Capital, released Thursday.
The firm’s Home Data Index fell 2.3 percent on a quarterly basis, compared with a 4.9 percent drop in last month’s report. Clear Capital considers rolling quarters, which means that it compares data in the last four months to the previous three months. In this case, February through May is compared to November through January.
"The latest market report results through May suggest that home prices are starting to ease back from the heavy declines seen over the winter," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, in a statement.
"We are still far away from the strong demand needed to fully turn things around for the housing market; however, it is clear from the initial spring sales data that prices are softening, suggesting stabilization in the market."
Year-over-year, national prices fell 7.6 percent in May to levels last seen in 2000, the report said.
The Midwest saw the worst declines on both a year-over-year and rolling-quarter basis, declining 10.9 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
In the South, prices fell 7.8 percent year-over-year and 1.8 percent quarter-to-quarter. The West fared slightly better, declining 7.5 percent annually and 1.6 percent quarterly.
The Northeast saw the smallest declines, falling 3.3 percent year-over-year and 1 percent quarter-to-quarter.
Bank-owned homes (REOs) accounted for 33.9 percent of overall sales in the last rolling quarter, about flat compared to last month’s report.
"The median price paid for distressed properties has risen over the past three quarters, which is a good sign that the REO market segment is seeing increased activity toward the upper end of this space," Villacorta said.
Seven of the 15 top-performing markets saw quarterly price gains this month, compared with zero in last month’s report, the firm said. Prices in the Washington, D.C., metro area saw the biggest increase, rising 4.5 percent, followed by St. Louis (2.2 percent), Pittsburgh (1.6 percent), and New York (1.5 percent). Only Pittsburgh, New York and Washington, D.C., experienced year-over-year gains.
All 15 saw their REO market share decline compared to last month’s report.
Source: Clear Capital
Detroit led among the top 15 worst-performing markets, posting a 13.2 percent quarterly decrease, followed by New Orleans (-10.9 percent), Hartford, Conn.(-10.7 percent), and Cleveland (-10.1 percent).
Ten of those markets experienced double-digit year-over-year drops, with Columbus, Ohio, posting the sharpest slide, down 19.2 percent.
Source: Clear Capital