Home Prices Continue to Send Mixed Messages as 2009 Comes to a Close
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
New York, February 23, 2010 – Data through December 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for
its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S.
National Home Price Index fell in the fourth quarter of 2009 but has improved in its annual rate of
return, as compared to what was reported in the third quarter.
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
Percent change, year ago-24%
Percent change, year ago10 -City Composite
Source: Standard & Poor's & FiServ
The chart above depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City
Composite Home Price Indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all
nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 2.5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2009 versus the fourth
quarter of 2008. This is a significant improvement over the annual rates reported in the first, second and
third quarters of the year, at -19.0%, -14.7% and -8.7%, respectively. In December, the 10-City and 20-
City Composites recorded annual declines of 2.4% and 3.1%, respectively. These two indices, which are
reported at a monthly frequency, have seen improvements in their annual rates of return every month
since the beginning of the year.
1 Case-Shiller® and Case-Shiller Indexes® are registered trademarks of Fiserv, Inc.
“As measured by prices, the housing market is definitely in better shape than it was this time last year, as
the pace of deterioration has stabilized for now. However, the rate of improvement seen during the
summer of 2009 has not been sustained,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at