May Case-Shiller data: 15.8% YOY drop in prices
* Prices fell 0.9% from April in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. That was another improvement on the month (April was -1.3%, March was -2.2%, and February was -2.6%). However, the year-over-year decline in prices came to 15.8%, worse than the 15.2% drop in April. That's also the largest decline so far for the monthly index, which was first published in 2001 (A chart showing the history of the YOY price changes can be seen above).
* The 10-city index has a longer history. It declined 16.9% YOY in April, compared with 16.2% in April. That's the worst reading since S&P started tracking in the late 1980s.
* Once again, prices fell from year-ago levels in every single one of the 20 metropolitan areas the group tracks. The biggest declines were found in Las Vegas (-28.4%), Miami (-28.3%), Phoenix (-26.5%) and multiple markets in California (-24.6% in L.A., -23.2% in San Diego, and -22.9% in San Francisco). Charlotte, N.C. (-0.2%) and Dallas (-3.1%) were the best performing markets on a relative basis.
The S&P/Case-Shiller figures show that home prices are still deteriorating, at a faster year-over-year pace and in a broad array of markets. Even former standouts have joined the weaker metropolitan areas in the red. If there's a glimmer of hope, it's that the monthly rate of decline has eased since February. But that's a thin reed to cling to. With inventories still elevated, mortgage credit harder to obtain, and the economy struggling, home prices will likely continue to decline, even if they do so at a less aggressive pace.