Houses getting cheaper by the minute

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That’s the positive spin. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price numbers (pdf) are out. I may put together a pretty chart later, but I’ve got a column to write today. The headline is that the national home price index, which they only calculate once a quarter, is down 14.1% for the year ending in March. That’s, um, a lot. Las Vegas is the worst-off of the 20 metropolitan areas tracked by Case-Shiller, with prices down 25.9% for the year. Charlotte is the only metro in positive territory for the year, with a whopping gain of 0.8%. Must be those rocking chairs at the airport.

Of course, it’s May now–the tradeoff with the Case-Shiller indices is that while they provide the best picture of house prices (or at least big metro-area house prices), they take a while to compile.