Home Prices Continue to Slide in May

U.S. home prices extended their slide in May with a 0.3 percent decline from the previous month, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight said Tuesday.


For the 12 months ending in May, U.S. prices fell 4.8 percent, the report said.

Tuesday's data reflects a third straight drop and 10th decline out of 11 months, according to Deutsche Bank.

The housing crisis will tighten its grip and "more write-downs in the financial services sector are likely" said Deutsche, which expected a 0.6 percent drop in OFHEO's index for May after the 0.8 percent decline in April.

Still, James Lockhart, the OFHEO director, said that he saw some signs of stabilization in the data.

For the nine regions measured, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from April to May ranged from a fall of 1.2 percent in the South Atlantic Division to a rise of 0.3 percent in the Pacific Division. The price increase was the first in the Pacific Division since March 2007.

"It is very hard to draw conclusions from a one-month number, especially in these uncertain times; but the numbers in the Pacific, East and West North Central Divisions may be good signs," said Lockhart, referring to regions where prices held steady or rose.

OFHEO oversees mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"Since the April 2007 peak, prices have fallen 4.9 percent," the OFHEO report states.