Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Case-Shiller Data Suggest Possible Housing Double-Dip
Housing data for January, released today (March 29) by Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller, show home prices off to "a dismal start in 2011," says S&P economist David Blitzer. San Diego, however, was one of only two metro areas showing gains, but they were extremely modest. "The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing," says Blitzer. San Diego home values dropped 1.2% in January versus December of 2010. San Diego was only one of two among 20 major metro areas with an increase in values from a year ago. However, that increase was only 0.1%. The other metro area with an increase was Washington, D.C., up 3.6%.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board reported more discouraging news: consumer confidence in March fell more than anticipated to 63.4 from 72 in February. Economists expected a decline to 65.4, according to FactSet. "The decline reverses five straight months of improvement," notes Yahoo! "A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy. The index hasn't approached that level since the recession began in December 2007."