Bloomberg News

U.S. Home Prices Fell 5.7% in April From Year Earlier, FHFA Says

June 22, 2011

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. home prices fell 5.7 percent in April from a year earlier, signaling the housing market is struggling to recover as foreclosures weigh down values.

The decline was led by an 11 percent drop in the region that includes Nevada and Arizona, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a report from Washington. The second- largest slump was 8.6 percent in the area that includes Florida.

Foreclosures have boosted the supply of available homes and reduced prices because they sell at a discount. Low interest rates have done little to stimulate demand for homes as mortgage standards tighten and unemployment hovers close to 9 percent. It would take 9.3 months to sell all the homes on the market in May at the current sales pace, up from 7.5 months in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Prices rose 0.8 percent from March, the FHFA said. Economists had projected a 0.3 percent decline from the previous month, according to the average of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The monthly gain was led by a 2.2 percent increase in the area that includes Massachusetts, and a 2.1 percent rise in the region that includes Texas, the report showed.

Today’s FHFA report is based on repeat sales data that compares prices of the same properties over time. The regulatory agency, which measures sales of homes with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, doesn’t provide a specific price.

The median price of a home sold in April, the period covered by the FHFA report, was $161,100, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In May, the median price was $166,500, the Chicago-based trade group said yesterday. Sales of existing U.S. homes fell last month to an annual pace of 4.81 million, the lowest level in six months, according to the report.

--Editors: Kara Wetzel, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen M. Howley in Boston at kmhowley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net


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