Home prices dropped for the year ending in April, extending a double-dip as the housing market continues to frustrate the nation's economic recovery.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities, released Tuesday morning, showed a 4 percent drop from April 2010, in line with predictions from 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It was the largest decrease in 17 months.
The index actually showed slight improvement from March to April with home prices increasing 0.7 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. A recent decline in gasoline prices may account for some of the improvement from March, as does the start of the spring and summer home-buying season.
“It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather,” Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices David Blitzer said in a statement. On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, prices actually fell 0.1 percent from March to April—less than the expected 0.2 percent drop, but not quite the rosy picture Blitzer painted.
Blitzer said it would take several months of increased home prices to start a “real recovery.” The report was “better news, but [there are] still a lot of questions and a long way to go,” Blitzer said.