BROOKFIELD, WI - Home prices appear to have hit bottom and are showing signs of stabilization, according to the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes.
The indexes, which utilize data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), indicated that home prices in 70 of 384 markets tracked or 18% were unchanged or had increased when comparing the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2010. In 122 or 32% of the markets, the price declines were under 2%, Fiserv said.
What's more, in the fourth quarter of 2011, Fiserv said the average price of a U.S. single-family home fell to a new post-bubble low, declining 4% from the year-ago period. Fiserv Case-Shiller projects this trend to continue this year with average housing prices dropping by an additional 0.8%.
The biggest market gainers for increased home price,s according to the Fiserv Case Shiller Indexes, include Detroit, MI, +9.8%; Cape Coral, FL, +3.5%; and Port St. Lucie, FL, +1.1%. The biggest market losers included Atlanta, GA, -12.8%; Reno, NV, -10.8%; and Tucson, AZ, -10.0%.
"The precipitous drop in home prices was an immediate cause of the last recession and the financial crisis," said David Stiff, chief economist, Fiserv. "Falling home equity has cut into household consumption and has further constrained the economic recovery. However, very low prices have also started to draw in more buyers. As demand for houses ramps up, construction activity will increase and residential investment will begin to make a substantial contribution to the recovery and GDP overall."
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