The Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI) for January which were released on Tuesday are reporting further bad news on the home value front.

The HPI which tracks, in two different indices, 10 and 20 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across the United States, reported that the prices of existing family homes nationally continued to decline into the new year. 16 of the 20 MSAs in the larger survey reported record declines, ten of them reaching double digits.

Both the 10-City and the 20-City Composite Indices are now reporting annual declines in excess of 10 percent. The 10-City had a record annual decline of 11.4 percent; the 20-City reported a decline of 10.7 percent.



Las Vegas and Miami ' boom cities only months ago ' share honors for being the weakest cities price-wise in January. Both showed price declines year-over-year of 19.3 percent with Phoenix not far behind at 18.2 percent. Other MSAs with double-digit declines include Detroit (15.1 percent), Los Angeles (16.5 percent), Minneapolis (10 percent), San Diego (16.7 percent), San Francisco, (13.2 percent,) Tampa (15 percent), and Washington (10.9 percent).

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's commented about the survey results; "Unfortunately it does not look like early 2008 is marking any turnaround in the housing market, after the declining year recorded throughout 2007. Home prices continue to fall, decelerate and reach record lows across the nation. No markets seem to be completely immune from the housing crisis, with 19 of the 20 metro areas reporting annual declines in January and the remaining ' Charlotte North Carolina ' eking out a benign 1.8 percent growth rate. Looking deeper into the data, you can see that 16 of the metro areas are also reporting record low annual growth rates. The monthly data show that every one of the MSAs has now declined every month since September 2007, marking five consecutive months. On top of that, the declines have increased through time, in general, as 13 of the 20 MSAs reported their single largest monthly decline in January."

Taking the long view of the HPI data, however, homeowners in many MSAs should still be counting their blessings. The indices use the year 2000 as a base, assigning that year the number 100. Therefore a current score of 150 would indicate a 50 percent price appreciation in the last eight years. The score for the 10 City Composite is 196.06 and the 20-City 180.65. Some of the worst hit cities by current performance still show remarkable appreciation since 2000; for example, Miami (225.40), Los Angeles (224.21) and Las Vegas (186.05).