Home prices in the New York metro area are holding up better than some economists had predicted, with only a slim chance of receding into a double-dip drop next year, according to industry data.
Some economic experts were concerned yesterday over a new report from the S&P/Case-Shiller Index — an authoritative measure of home-price swings — showing that New York area prices were slipping at a worrisome pace during October after a year of strength.
The index said the drop in median home prices from September to October was 1.6 percent, much steeper than the 0.5 percent decline from August to September.
The unexpected drop renewed fears that the housing market could be on the verge of a double dip.
“Six cities have hit new lows,” said analyst David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s indexes, adding that New York isn’t among them.
“We thought prices had hit a bottom in the middle of 2009, but it appears that they may not have,” he said. But when asked whether New York will fall into a double-dip housing recession, Blitzer said the Big Apple isn’t there just yet.
“No one really ever defines when you enter a double dip, but we have [defined it],” Blitzer said.
He said a double dip will occur when the composite of home prices across 20 major metropolitan markets drops to a new low.
“It would have to drop by another 4.4 percent for that to occur,” Blitzer said.
In October, the 20-city index was down 30 percent from its peak in July 2006.
Meanwhile, median prices of existing single-family homes in metropolitan New York have climbed steadily in the past 12 months in almost all price categories, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The median gained 2.8 percent to $404,100 at the end of September, compared with $393,100 a year earlier.
Some analysts hope that declining house prices — combined with low fixed-rate mortgages at 4.81 percent this week — will help attract new home buyers. [email protected]