As the housing market enters its peak season for activity, home prices edged lower, which could cause a number of prospective buyers to capitalize on the affordable prices to make the transition to homeownership.
According to real estate data from the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, February home prices fell 3.6 and 3.5 percent in the 10- and 20-City composites, respectively.
"While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," said committee chairman David Blitzer.
Only five of the metropolitan areas examined experienced property value appreciation, including Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix. In contrast, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa hit the lowest average price points seen since the housing market collapse.
While this could be negative for current homeowners, the currently relationship between property values, mortgage rates and median household incomes have provided a number of affordable options for prospective buyers in recent months. As prices edge lower enting the peak buying season, it could prompt an even bigger wave of transactions.