Major home markets' slump continues
Boston and Detroit led the way down, according to latest figures from Case Shiller Weiss. Seattle bucks the trend.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Housing prices fell in nearly every major U.S. market in November, though some Northwest markets are bucking the trend, according to the latest numbers from Case Shiller Weiss.
Boston prices have swooned by 5 percent for the 12 months through November and Detroit was off 4.5 percent. Of 20 major cities tracked, all but three showed declines in November and seven recorded 12-month losses.
Northwest cities have best weathered the storm with Seattle showing a year-over-year increase of 13 percent and Portland a gain of 11.6 percent. In November, Miami led all other markets with growth of 7.4 percent.
The Case Shiller indexes are the basis for derivative investments traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Case Shiller's 20-city composite index, which also includes Chicago, New York, and San Diego, dropped 0.4 percent in November, after inching down 0.2 percent in October. For the 12 months, the index was up 1.7 percent, a far cry from its performance in 2005, when the index gained 15.7 percent.
"Country-wide, home price declines appear to show no signs of slowing down," said Robert Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC, in a release. "But while the downward trend is visible on a national level, it is clear that certain cities, like Boston and Detroit, have been more susceptible to the price correction."
Some of the smart money is betting that the decline will continue. Case Shiller real estate derivatives are down an average of about 3.9 percent for its 12-month future contracts, which expire in October of 2007.
The derivatives may, however, exaggerate the market's pessimism. According to Shiller, not only are the futures too thinly traded still to be a very accurate guide to market sentiment but there is also a risk premium to be taken into account; at this point, more traders are interested in protecting themselves against loss than are interested in buying into a growing market. That imbalance drives down the prices of the futures.