Some improvement in condo prices in March

March 2012 data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Indices were published on Tuesday May 29th, indicating that monthly condo prices rose in four of the five of the metro areas covered by our indices – Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Chicago was the one market where condo prices fell over the month.

The Chicago index reported a decline of .0.3%, in March versus February. San Francisco condo prices rose the most, up 4.2% over the month. Condo prices in Boston and New York each increased by 0.9%; and Los Angeles saw prices rise by 0.7%.

Chicago condo prices have fallen each month in September 2011 through March 2012, by a cumulative 16.8%. In addition, Chicago posted a new low in March 2012. Average condo prices in Chicago are close to their September 1999 levels.

With March’s report, Los Angeles posted the largest annual decline, -5.6% versus March 2011. The 0.7% monthly increase was the first Los Angeles condo prices had seen in 19 consecutive months; the last time LA condo prices rose on a monthly basis was in July 2010.

After having fallen 10 consecutive months, average condo prices in San Francisco rose by 4.2% over the month of March alone. On an annual basis, prices in that market are down 4.9% versus March of 2011. The New York market was down 0.3% versus March 2011. Boston was the only market where condo prices improved on an annual basis, up 1.5% in March 2012 versus March 2011.

The chart below compares the index levels for the five condo markets covered by the indices, rebased to 1995 = 100. Chicago (grey line) is well below the other cities, showing that average condo prices are back to about their September 1999 levels. While the California markets saw improvement in March 2012, average Los Angeles condo market prices (blue) are only back to their mid-2003 levels; while San Francisco prices (red) 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 more stable, as the table below highlights. The New York condo market is down 0.3% on an annual basis; while Boston is up 1.5%. This compares to the other three annual declines of about 5.0% or more. The New York housing market is down 2.8% on an annual basis; while Boston is down 1.0%. San Francisco, down 3.0%, is not too far behind New York, but Chicago and Los Angeles are down 7.1% and 4.8%, respectively.

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

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