Home prices in record decline

Home prices in record decline

A Case-Shiller survey shows a 16.6% annual decline in the summer months as the housing picture continues to deteriorate.

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The home price plunge stayed on a record pace this summer, according to a widely watched gauge of national real-estate markets released Tuesday.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index recorded a 16.6% decline in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago. That eclipsed the previous record of 15.1% set during the second quarter.

Prices in Case-Shiller’s separate index of 10 major cities fell a record 18.6%, while its 20-city index dropped a record 17.4%

With foreclosures soaring at record rates, the economic picture dimming and job losses ramping up, all the elements were in place to push prices lower.

“The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals,” said David Blitzer, Standard & Poor’s spokesman for the indexes, in a press release. “All three aggregate indices, and 13 of the 20 metro areas, are reporting new record rates of decline…Prices are back to where they were in early 2004.”

The 10-city index is now 23.4% off its peak price, which came in June 2006; the 20-city index is down 21.8% from its July 2006 high and the national index has fallen 21% since the third quarter of 2006.

Home prices in the 10-city index have fallen for 26 consecutive months. The decline has broadened over the past 12 months, with prices dropping in every city of the 20-city index during September.

In the weakest market, Phoenix, the 12-month loss came to 31.9%. Las Vegas prices plummeted 31.3% and San Francisco recorded a 29.5% decline. The best performing markets, Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., still posted drops – 2.7% in Dallas and 3.5% in Charlotte. more

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