Home prices hit post-bust lows in most big citiesby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices fell in December over November in all but one of the 20 metro areas tracked, including the Twin Cities.
Prices fell by 0.4 percent in the Twin Cities on a seasonally-adjusted basis, mirroring the decline in the 20-city composite. But for the year, prices in the metro fell 5.3 percent, more than double the decline in the 20-city index.
Standard and Poor's David Blitzer said low consumer confidence and a high rate of homeowners who owe more on their homes than they are worth continue to keep home prices bouncing along the bottom.
"And that has clearly weighed on people's outlook over the last several months," Blitzer said. "I think that is having a depressing effect on home prices in general and also in the Upper Midwest."
Blitzer said the Twin Cities is in better shape than other cities in the upper Midwest, and that the housing market is being depressed by the larger economic picture.
"There is an awful lot of concern being heard about the general economic conditions, the levels of debt in the country and that kind of thing," he said. "That has clearly weighed on people's outlook over the last several months."
The only city to see a gain was Washington, where hiring by the federal government has helped boost the region's job market.
Eleven of the markets hit their lowest point since the housing bust, in 2006 and 2007: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tampa, Fla.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)