Isle home prices down 11.7% while nation's average dips 6.1%


POSTED: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hawaii's home prices dropped 11.7 percent in the second quarter from the year-earlier period to far outstrip the national average, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the nation's secondary mortgage market.

Hawaii was one of only six states, including highest-ranked Nevada, that posted declines of more than 10 percent. Others included Arizona, Florida, California and Utah.

Hawaii's decline ranked fifth worst in the nation, which posted an average drop of 6.1 percent.

The housing agency, whose seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index is based on repeat transactions for mortgages financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, indicated that prices fell in the latest quarter in 38 states. Prices fell from the last year in 46 states and Washington, D.C., the agency reported.

Still, its monthly index rose 0.5 percent from the first six months of the year, said Edward J. DeMarco, the agency's senior deputy director and chief operating officer.

“;For the second consecutive quarter, we are seeing much slower rates of depreciation in the HPI than in 2008,”; DeMarco said. “;This is further evidence that prices may be stabilizing for the nation as a whole.”;

Likewise, the national Case-Shiller home-price index, which is widely used as a measure of real estate performance, posted its first quarterly increase in three years.

The index, which was also released yesterday by Standard & Poor's, showed that prices rose a not-seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent in June. The prices of single-family homes rose in 18 of the 20 cities Case-Shiller measures; however, Honolulu is not part of that index.