Home values still falling

The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller monthly index of home values is out today. (See FAQ here).

The index compares recent sale prices with the price the last time the home sold. The Minneapolis area is one of 20 metropolitan areas measured.

You can probably guess the national picture. Home prices are falling and the Sun Belt is a particularly bad place to own property, unless your goal is a 25% reduction in value.

For March in Minneapolis, the index dropped from 146.03 in February to 142.24. That’s a slower decline than the previous few months, but still among the biggest drops since the housing mess began. What does that mean in terms of value? The March figures show housing values about what they were in June 2003. Since February’s values were close to August 2003, we’ve taken two steps (months) backward.

You can fire up your Excel spreadsheet and play with the numbers here.

So where are we in terms of home prices nationally. “It’s about 2002-2003,” said the man who created the index. In the Upper Midwest — Detroit — it’s about 2000. That should come as good news to the people in Detroit, where the news suggests it’s closer to 1929.

The index shows housing prices in the U.S. have been falling since the fall of 2006.

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