Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | 7:29 a.m.
Las Vegas-area home prices declined in March at a greater rate than in February; and a national survey today found the U.S. housing market has not yet hit bottom.
Debt rating agency Standard & Poor’s issued its monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showing prices in Las Vegas fell 3.8 percent from February to March, a deterioration from the 3.6 percent decline from January to February but an improvement from the December to January decline of 4.4 percent.
In the year-to-year comparison, Las Vegas prices fell 31.2 percent from March 2008 to March 2009, ranking Las Vegas No. 2 behind Phoenix in the list of declines among big cities.
Nationwide, S&P/Case-Shiller's 20-city index fell 18.7 percent -- more than the 18.3 percent decline predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Foreclosures and job losses are driving down prices locally and nationwide. Even with the current low prices, many would-be buyers can't qualify for a mortgage because of credit problems and job losses.
"We see no evidence that a recovery in home prices has begun," David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's Index Committee, said in a statement.
Today's numbers are in line with numbers issued earlier this month for April by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.
The Realtors said single-family home sales in the Las Vegas area in April totaled 3,198 -- up 78.3 percent from April 2008 as the median price of single-family homes sunk 39.9 percent year-over-year to $141,720.