We've seen signs the past couple months the Twin Cities housing market is starting to drag itself back to its feet. But new data released today from the respected S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices suggests it's no time for high-fives. Home values here are still on the slide.
The Cities showed a record monthly decline of 6.1% in March -- the largest monthly drop of any metro area in the history of the indices. The index is down nearly 25 percent from a year ago.
Looking at the 20 U.S. cities it charts, S&P concludes there's no evidence yet that a recovery in home prices has begun.
So what's happening?
It's possible prices are bottoming out and it just hasn't showed up yet in the numbers. There's been a lot of "lender mediated" housing sold in the Twin Cities, driving down over all market values. That inventory is falling now. As supply and demand find a balance again, that'll be good news for prices.
But as my colleague Mike Caputo pointed out recently, we're also in a one-and-done market right now -- there's high demand for houses below $200,000, so the first-time homeowner market is solid. Current homeowners, however, are not interested in selling and buying something more expensive.
Bottom line: We're seeing a lot of activity in selected parts of the Twin Cities housing market. But that's not going to translate into a recovery in median home prices any time soon.