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Home Prices Should Slide by 3.6% in 2012: Fiserv

The latest analysis from a Fiserv Case-Shiller index said Monday that home prices could slide back by 3.6 percent this year, and may not completely pick up until the first half of 2013.

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""Fiserv, Inc."":http://www.fiserv.com/ found a double-dip that began last summer stretching into last fall as home prices declined in 340 of 384 metropolitan areas surveyed by the technology provider.

It said some 302 areas slammed into new lows, and projected that home prices will fall in southerly direction this year before climbing by 2.4 percent over the second quarter next year.

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""Housing affordability has improved dramatically because of declines in both prices and mortgage interest rates,"" David Stiff, chief economist with Fiserv, said in a statement.

""Many households cannot finance first-time or trade-up home purchases to take advantage of lower home prices because of much stricter mortgage lending standards,"" he added. ""But even households with access to mortgage credit are hesitant to buy homes while job growth is weak and consumer confidence is low.""

The company also said that prices fell by double-digits in 30 metropolitan areas, with home prices ticking up by 1 percent or more in 25 areas.

Only two metro areas, including some in California and Nevada, will likely see a pickup in home prices over the second quarter this year. Sixteen metro areas will see price declines by double digits.

""If economic growth picks up in the second half of 2011, then home prices should stabilize early next year,"" Stiff said, adding: ""Potential buyers must be convinced that the economic recovery is back on track and that the double-dip in home prices is nearly over before housing demand will begin to rise.""

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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