The latest RPX Composite price from the New York-based real estate data and analytics firm ""RadarLogic"":http://www.radarlogic.com, which tracks home prices in 25 metropolitan areas, declined to $179.50 per square foot in January, its lowest level since 2007.
[IMAGE] According to the company's January 2011 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report, the decline reflected a 3.8 percent drop from December and a 3.4 percent decline from a year prior.
Radar Logic reports that the rapid decline suggests the weakness in home prices during January was due to weak market fundamentals, including a high supply of homes and low demand coupled with high rates of mortgage defaults and foreclosures.
""While January is typically a slow month for housing, the trends evident in RPX data are more troubling than not,""[COLUMN_BREAK]
said Michael Feder, Radar Logic's CEO. ""The RPX Composite price hit a new low for the cycle, velocity of transactions continues to decline, and the negative influence of distressed properties continues to be felt.""
Federa added, ""More than last year, what we see in the numbers over the next several months will tell us whether housing is going to decline a little or a lot.""
While seasonal factors typically cause home prices to decline in January, the latest drop in the RPX Composite was particularly large relative to past years. It was the third largest for the period since January 2000 when Radar Logic began tracking historical data.
The report also reveals that home sales declined rapidly from December to January, but the decline in sales was small relative to years past. The RPX Composite transaction count declined by 19.4 percent month-over-month.
In addition, sales of foreclosed homes by financial institutions, or ""motivated sales,"" declined less than other sales from December to January. Motivated sales made up 35 percent of all home sales as of January 20, the second highest rate of motivated sales observed by Radar Logic.
Radar Logic calculates and publishes the Radar Logic Daily Prices. The prices track housing values for major U.S. metropolitan areas and are the basis of the Residential Property Index (RPX), a market that enables real estate to be traded as a liquid asset via property derivatives marketed by major financial institutions.