The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for December were released this morning. Home prices continued their decline in December, falling .4%. In the fourth quarter, home prices fell 1.9% and for the 12-month period ending in December, home prices declined 2.4%. After two home buyer tax credits, multiple foreclosure modification programs, and trillions in support from the Fed, it appears that we have only managed to delay the ultimate bottom in home prices.

Home prices are now much closer to a bottom than to the top, but that doesn’t offer much comfort to the homeowners in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami who bought near the peak. From the July 2006 peak in the Case-Shiller index, home prices in Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami are down 58%, 55%, and 49% respectively. At a 5% growth rate it will take almost 18 years for home prices in Vegas to recover all of their losses.

S&P Case-Shiller Indices
City Percent Change from July 2006
Las Vegas -58%
Phoenix -55%
Miami -49%
Detroit -47%
Tampa -45%
L.A. -37%
San Francisco -37%
San Diego -35%
Minneapolis -32%
Chicago -30%
Atlanta -25%
Washington -25%
Portland -22%
New York -22%
Seattle -22%
Cleveland -18%
Boston -13%
Charlotte -10%
Denver -10%
Dallas -6%