Home Price Declines Continue Through Third Quarter

Broad-based declines in the prices of existing single-family homes across the U.S. continued through September, according to Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Indices.

The decline in the index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, remained in double digits, posting a record 16.6% decline in the third quarter of 2008 versus the third quarter of 2007. This has increased from the annual declines of 14.0% and 15.1%, reported for the first and second quarters of the year, respectively.

The 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to set new records, S&P adds, with annual declines of 18.6% and 17.4%, respectively.

"The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals." says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P. "All three aggregate indices and 13 of the 20 metro areas are reporting new record rates of decline. Looking at the returns of the U.S. National Index, prices are back to where they were in early 2004."

Phoenix was the weakest market, reporting an annual decline of 31.9%, followed by Las Vegas, down 31.3%, and San Francisco at -29.5%. Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego did not fair much better, with annual declines of 28.4%, 27.6% and 26.3%, respectively.



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