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Home Prices Stagnate in Still-Weak National Economy

Home prices drifted lower over the third quarter this year, falling year-over-year by 3.9 percent, according to ""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us Case-Shiller Index.


""Home prices drifted lower in September and the third quarter,"" ""David Blitzer"":http://www.imn.org/pages/biography.cfm?personid=BLITZ10001, chairman of S&P Indices, said in a statement. ""The plunging collapse of prices seen in 2007-2009 seems to be behind us. Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy.""

The figures inched forward by only 0.1 percent from last month, with the modest pickup reflecting a 5.8-percent improvement from figures seen for home prices over the second quarter. The numbers beat forecasts for a 3.0-percent slide back from the 20-city composite.

Fourteen of 20 cities fell in a southerly direction over September 2011, with figures for home prices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco sliding back.

Only two ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Detroit and Washington, D.C. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô climbed


forward by 3.7 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, with trends for the former marking the third consecutive month.

Seventeen of the 20 cities listed by S&P fell for the month, with the 20-city composite regressing by 0.6 percent in September when contrasted with figures from the month before. The 10-city composite meanwhile posted a 0.4-percent decline.

Annual rates for the 20-city and 10-city composites offered shortfalls that landed home prices at 3.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, down from rates seen in September last year.

The same day S&P released figures for home prices, the ""Federal Housing Finance Agency"":http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) mirrored findings by posting only a marginal increase by 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, a change from the second quarter.

The FHFA found that prices climbed by 0.7 percent on an unadjusted basis, with the seasonally adjusted monthly index rising by 0.9 percent from August values.

""In most regions of the country, third-quarter home values were relatively stable, even in some areas that experienced sharp price declines in preceding quarters,"" ""Andrew Leventis"":http://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewleventis, principal economist with the FHFA, said in a statement.

""While most housing markets still face stiff headwinds, the fact that some beleaguered states ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô such as Idaho, Florida and Utah ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô saw quarterly price increases is a positive development,"" he added.