Home prices nationwide have double dipped, with prices plunging below their March 2009 bottom, the Clear Capital research firm reports.
The company's monthly Home Data Index shows home prices double dipping 0.7 percent below the previous record low set in March 2009.
Sales of bank-owned (REO) properties hit 34.5 percent of the market, helping to send quarterly home prices down 4.9 percent and 5.0 percent when compared with March 2010.
|Foreclosures are expected to soar.
(Getty Images photo)
National home prices have fallen 11.5 percent in the past nine months, a rate not seen since 2008.
"With more than one-third of national home sales being REO (bank owned), market prices are being weighed down, as many markets have not regained enough footing to withstand the strain of the high proportion of REO sales," says Clear Capital's Alex Villacorta, according to CNBC.
Looking forward, market watchers will play close attention to the index in spring — a more-active buying season — to see if organic demand for housing can push the index back into growth territory.
"In light of the compounding effects of winter’s seasonal slowdown and increased distressed sale activity, the market now faces the true test of whether prices can rebound in the historically active spring season," Villacorta says, this time according to Housing Wire, a financial news service for the mortgage industry.
The United States isn't the only nation dealing with a weak housing market.
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's says that by the end of 2010, European housing prices had fallen by 33 percent from their peak levels, according to RTE News.
That figure represents the largest fall in western Europe since the beginning of the financial crisis.
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