The Cleveland Fed helps put the current housing decline in perspective:
“The S&P/Case-Shiller Monthly House Price Index took a step backward in the three months ending in November, with the 10-city and 20-city composite indexes falling 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. November’s report marks the indexes’ fifth consecutive decline, pushing year-over-year growth in the 10-city index negative for the first time since January, to −0.4 percent. The 20-city index fared even worse, slipping 1.6 percent below its year-ago level. Declines were geographically broad-based, with only four metro areas showing year-over-year price growth—Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
The monthly FHFA house price index was flat from October to November after having declined four months in-a-row. This recent activity, of course, has not helped bolster year-over-year growth, which dropped another 0.3 percentage point to −4.3 percent in November. Deterioration in the FHFA index since April 2007 has essentially set home prices back to where they were in early 2004.”