Home price declines softening
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a home price study recently, which confirmed continued declines in property values, but at a more modest pace than those cited by S&P/Case-Shiller.
FHFA’s purchase-only Home Price Index (HPI) showed that in the first quarter of 2009, U.S. home prices fell 0.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The agency reported that nationally, property values actually increased in January and February, but were offset by a decline in March. The first quarter depreciation of only half a percentage point is a much slower pace than the 3.3 percent decline reported for the prior quarterly period, FHFA said. Over the past year, the agency says prices have fallen 7.1 percent.