The 4th quarter OFHEO Home Price Index was released today. This is the only repeat-sales price index available for Valley metro areas, and is a better indicator than median or average prices typically reported in the local media.
It's no surprise that 5 inland California metros (Merced, Stockton, Modesto, Vallejo, Riverside) show the biggest price declines in the U.S. over the past year. However, there is some good news in the pace of declines is slowing down.
Stockton prices declined 5% from the 3rd to 4th quarter; that is huge but slower than we saw in earlier quarters (avg quarterly declines were close to 10%; from higher starting points). Sacramento prices are down 2.8% from the 3rd to 4th quarter; big but also about 1/2 the price decline seen earlier in 2008.
Florida metro areas are dropping more quickly now than California, and will be at the top of these annual decline lists by summer.