All three headline Case-Shiller composites fell to new post-crisis lows in the first quarter of 2012, wiping out all price gains realized since prices peaked in 2006, a decline of approximately 35 percent through March 2012.
The Case-Shiller national composite fell by 2.0 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and was down 1.9 percent versus the first quarter of 2011. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective annual returns of -2.8 percent and -2.6 percent in March 2012. Month-over-month, their changes were minimal; average home prices in the 10-City Composite fell by 0.1 percent compared to February and the 20-City remained basically unchanged in March over February.
In addition to the three composites, five cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Portland - also saw average home prices hit new lows. This is an improvement over the nine cities reported last month.
In March 2012, 12 MSAs posted monthly gains, seven declined and one remained unchanged. Phoenix posted the largest annual rate of change, up 6.1 percent, while home prices in Atlanta fell the most over the year, down 17.7 percent.
Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas were the four cities where average home prices were below their January 2000 levels. With an index level of 102.77 Chicago is not far behind.
Prices in the Case-Shiller national composite index peaked at 189.93 in the second quarter of 2006 and fell to an initial low of 129.17 in the first quarter of 2009. It reached a new low in 125.79 in the first quarter of 2011. Prices recovered during the second and third quarters last year only to triple dip to 123.33 in Q1 2012.