HomeBusinessNational home prices fall for the seventh straight month

National home prices fall for the seventh straight month

On one hand, that 3% drop in single-family house prices marks the second-biggest home price correction of the post–World War II era. On the other hand, this correction remains mild compared to the 26% peak-to-trough drop notched between 2007 and 2012.

The reason national home prices have fallen a bit boils down to the fact that housing affordability—or better put, the lack of affordability—has reached levels not seen since the housing bubble. That’ll happen when mortgage rates spiked from 3% to 6% just after U.S. home prices ran up 41% during the Pandemic Housing Boom.

This streak of seven consecutive months of U.S. home price declines comes after national home prices ran up for 124 consecutive months, spanning from the bottom of the housing crash in February 2012 through the peak of the Pandemic Housing Boom in June 2022.

And even with this 3% national dip, house prices are still up big-time. In fact, as of January, national home prices as measured by the seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller, are up 37% since March 2020.

Where do we head from here? It’s hard to say. Firms like Zillow and CoreLogic think the home price correction will soon fizzle out. Meanwhile, firms like Fannie Mae and Moody’s Analytics think we’re headed for around a 10% peak-to-trough decline. (Through December, seasonally adjusted home prices have fallen 3% from the June 2022 peak while still finishing 2022 up 3.8%.)

Keep in mind, when an index like Case-Shiller says “U.S. home prices,” it’s referring to the national aggregate. On a regional level, this story continues to vary.

Among the 20 major markets individually tracked by Case-Shiller, 19 markets posted a month-over-month decline in January while one market a posted a gain.

Want to stay updated on the housing market? Follow me on Twitter at @NewsLambert.

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