CoreLogic is the second-most watched home price index after S&P/Case-Shiller. The October data is a composite of August, September, and October. The data is not seasonally adjusted, so the size of the decline is not as worrisome as a similar decline would be in the spring or summer. Still, it looks like the table has been set for falling national home prices into next spring. As a practical matter, we can’t possible see declines of this magnitude for very many months.
If you look at the graph posted below and lay a straightedge along the trend line, you’ll see that current home prices make sense in terms of their historical trends. But we’re going to undershoot that trend line — maybe significantly — because of high inventories and large numbers of mortgage holders who are underwater.
CoreLogic is a subscription data service, so I don’t have access to the raw data. Here’s Calculated Risk’s quick quote from the release:
CoreLogic …today released its October Home Price Index (HPIÂ®) which shows that home prices in the U.S. decreased 1.3 percent on a month-over-month basis, the third consecutive monthly decline. According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, also declined by 3.9 percent on a year-over-year basis in October 2011 compared to October 2010.
Excluding distressed sales, the declines were approximately half as bad — but still declines.
Here’s the updated graph from Calculated Risk: