Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels

The nation’s home prices hit new lows in March, with the Twin Cities by far showing the biggest decline among major U.S. cities, according to a report Tuesday.
“Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels,” researchers said in the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 metro markets. The indexes are produced by Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) and published by Standard & Poor’s.

Prices fell 0.8 percent in March in the nation’s 20 largest markets, with each of those metro areas showing declines except for Seattle and Washington, D.C. The 20-city index does not include Milwaukee.
The biggest drop was in the Twin Cities, where home prices fell 3.7 percent in March when compared with February, according to the report. The next-biggest declines were in Chicago and Charlotte, N.C., which posted price drops of 2.4 percent. The Twin Cities area was the first market to show a double-digit decrease since Las Vegas showed a 12 percent decline in March 2010, according to the report.

“This month’s report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poors, said in a news release. “Home prices continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.”

Blitzer said the rebound in prices that the nation saw in 2009 and 2010 was mostly due to the federal government’s first-time home buyers tax credit, which expired about a year ago. Without the credit, the market has shown “no recovery or even stabilization in home prices during or after the recent recession,” he said.

Read more: Home prices drop to 2002 levels | The Business Journal