Attack of the double dip
The much-discussed "double dip" in home prices is upon us, per Standard & Poor's definition: Its Case-Shiller measures that track 10 and 20 cities are now both below their previous lows in 2009.
The Baltimore area isn't part of either index. But we already knew it was into double-dip territory earlier this year, having retrenched after a minor price boost from the first-time homebuyer tax credit in '09 and '10.
In a statement, S&P Indices' David M. Blitzer said the price increases seen in a variety of places during that period was "largely" about the tax credit.
"Excluding the results of that policy, there has been no recovery or even stabilization in home prices during or after the recent recession," he said. "Further, while last year saw signs of an economic recovery, the most recent data do not point to renewed gains."
The Washington area posted a modest gain in March vs. February, according to the S&P data, but that was unusual. Consider Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas -- in all those markets, values have been falling so fast and long that "average home prices are now below their January 2000 levels," S&P says.