Home prices fell in October for the third month in a row and it appears the housing market is headed for a double dip, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller house price index.
"The double dip is almost here," said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee.
House prices began a recovery in mid-2009 that lasted into July of this year — thanks to home buyer tax credits that expired during the summer.
Prices fell 1.3% in October, following a 0.8% drop in September based on the S&P's Chase Shiller 20-city HPI (that is not seasonally adjusted).
On an annual basis, house prices are down 0.8% since October 2009.
Today, average home prices across the country are at 2003 levels.
Since the peak in home prices in June 2006, prices are down 29.6% nationwide.
Blitzer pointed to lackluster home sales and rising inventories of unsold homes for the weakness in prices since July.
"On a year-over-year basis, sales are down more than 25% and the months’ supply of unsold homes is about 50% above where it was during the same months of last year," Blitzer said.
CoreLogic senior economist Sam Khater said house prices could fall 5% to 10% in 2011. "Demand is very weak," he told National Mortgage News.