National home values fell a whopping 10.4 percent on an annualized basis in the first quarter, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index (CMHPI).
The mortgage financier’s purchase-only home price index had previously shed 9.9 percent on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter.
Over the last four quarters ending in the first quarter of 2008, home sales prices on average fell 4.4 percent, the largest annual drop in the index’s 39-year history.
Freddie Mac’s “classic” index, which includes both purchases and refinances, registered a 2.4 percent drop on an annualized basis in the first quarter, the steepest quarterly decline since 1971.
And on an annual basis, home values on average slumped 0.8 percent, the first ever yearly drop since the series was created 39 years back.
Very few states were exempt from the downward pressure, with 46 states reporting price declines in the first quarter and 29 states registering annual declines.
Only Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming reported price gains during the first quarter.
Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft noted that all nine census divisions covered in the purchase-only index experienced price declines in the first quarter, with the South Atlantic (-10.1 percent annualized), New England (-11.0 percent annualized), and Pacific (-24.8 percent annualized) regions faring the worst.
The West South Central region (AR,LA,OK,TX) and the Middle Atlantic region (NJ,NY, PA) experienced the smallest annualized declines in home prices during the first quarter, at -1.9 percent and -4.1 percent, respectively.
Nothaft said he expects home prices to experience further declines throughout the year and into 2009.