Over the past three months, there has been a small but noticeable acceleration in home price declines, reversing what appeared to be a stabilizing trend in the fall of 2008, the First American CoreLogic LoanPerformance Home Price Index found.

The index for February 2009 marked the 24th consecutive month of home price declines. National housing prices fell 12.2% in February from a year ago. More than 700 Core Based Statistical Areas (were experiencing home price depreciation, up from 402 CBSAs experiencing depreciation just six months ago.

More than 100 CBSAs were experiencing double digit declines, compared to 83 six months ago. Nevada (-26.7%) was the top ranked state for price depreciation, followed very closely by California (-26.5%), Arizona (-21.1%), Florida (-19.7%) and Rhode Island (-19.5%). The silver lining for these high depreciation states is that the rate of price declines has been decelerating the last few months.

"Given that home prices are generally a lagging indicator of market health, we believe the largest declines have already taken place, but we expect home prices to continue to decline into 2010 as economic conditions and excess housing inventories dampen prices," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic.


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