Condo prices hit new crisis lows in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco

February 2012 data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Indices were published on Tuesday April 24th, revealing that condo prices fell in all five of the metro areas covered by our indices – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. All five cities have shown falling condo prices for at least five consecutive months and are down on an annual basis.

The Chicago index reported the largest decline, down 2.4%, in February versus January. The San Francisco index was next, falling by 1.5%. Condo prices in Boston, Los Angeles and New York fell by 1.1%, 0.1% and 0.3% in February, respectively.

With February’s report, Chicago posted the largest annual decline,-9.1%, with all of the weakness coming in the last six months. Chicago condo prices have fallen each month in September through February by a cumulative 16.5%. In addition, Chicago posted a new low in February 2012. With an index level of 97.66, average condo prices in Chicago are back to their October 1999 levels.

Los Angeles condo prices have fallen 19 consecutive months, were down 6.7% at an annual rate and also hit a new crisis low in February 2012. San Francisco’s condo market has fallen 10 consecutive months and also posted a new crisis low in February. Average condo prices in San Francisco are down 6.4% versus February 2011. Boston showed an annual decline of 1.2%; the New York market was down 0.9%. While New York has not seen as large declines as the other markets in the last six months, it too has hit a new post-crisis low.

The chart below compares the index levels for the five condo markets covered by the indices, rebased to 1995 = 100. The grey, blue and red lines represent Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. Chicago is well below the other cities, showing that average condo prices are back to their October 1999 levels. On average Los Angeles condo market prices are back to their mid-2003 levels; while San Francisco prices are back to early-2002 levels.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Indices. Sources: S&P Indices and Fiserv

As measured by both home and condo prices, the Boston and New York condo market are relatively more stable, as the table below highlights. The New York condo market is down 0.9% on an annual basis; while Boston is down 1.2%. This compares to the other three annual declines of at least 6.4%. While we are observing differences across the regions, both home and condo prices remain relatively weak across all five markets.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home and Condo Price Indices, comparative statistics

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