Explaining Southern California's economy

Housing prices: Los Angeles is on the edge


David McNew/Getty Images

A realtor sign advertises a bank-owned house for sale in California. The March Case-Shiller index suggests that Los Angeles may finally have hit a true bottom for prices.

The Case-Shiller index is out for March 2012. The bottom line is that price declines across the indices — which tracks housing prices data in two groups, across 10 and 20 U.S. cities — are moderating. Or seem to be moderating. This means that many cities may finally be scraping along a true bottom for housing prices, setting the stage for a recovery that can sustain itself. 

This is from the S&P/Case-Shiller press release:

“The regions showed mixed results for March.  Twelve of the cities saw average home prices rise in March over February, seven saw prices fall and one  – Las Vegas  – was flat.   The Composites were largely unchanged with the 10-City down only 0.1% and the 20-City unchanged.  After close to six consecutive months of price declines across most cities, this is relatively good news.  We just need to see it happen in more of the cities and for many months in a row.  Since we are entering a seasonal buying period, it becomes very important to look at both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices in order to understand the broader trend going forward.”