First American CoreLogic's LoanPerformance Home Price Index, based on November and early December home price data, found national housing prices fell 10.6% for the full year 2008, which it said is the largest decline in more than 30 years.
November's decline was 10.2% compared to a year earlier and early December preview data suggest declines continued in the 10 percent-plus range last month. Since peaking in 2004, home prices have fallen 18.5% and are now at the same levels where they were in spring of 2004.
Full year 2008 prices fell in 35 states, with California leading the way with a 26.9% decline, followed by Nevada (-22.8%), Arizona (-19%), Florida (-18.2%), and Rhode Island (-13.7%). Since home prices peaked in July 2006, home prices in California have declined 42% on a cumulative basis since their most recent peak, followed closely by Nevada (39%).
Prices in Arizona and Florida have declined by 33% cumulatively. First American CoreLogic said in 2008 the number of total unique foreclosure filings increased to 3.4 million, up 76 percent from 1.9 million in 2007 and more than triple the 1.1 million filings in 2006.
"Collateral risk continues to depress the housing market with the top four states for price depreciation accounting for nearly half of all outstanding foreclosures," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic. "But economic risk is also rapidly rising: California, Nevada and Rhode Island stand out as being among the top 10 states for both price depreciation and highest unemployment. Until home prices and economic activity stabilize, mortgage distress will remain high."