Home prices fall in October, Case-Shiller report says
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Home prices in the nation’s largest cities fell in October for the second straight month, continuing to dash hopes that the sluggish housing market is headed for an upturn.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, a measure closely followed by economists, showed price drops in 19 of 20 cities since September. Overall, prices slipped 1.2% month-over-month and fell 3.4% compared with October 2010.
The decline is typical of the season, when home buyers back off after the busy summer period. But coming off of five straight months of increases, the retreating prices in the fall suggest that weakness in the market may stretch into 2012.
Atlanta was on particularly shaky ground, according to the index. Prices there declined 5% in October after falling 5.9% in September and were down 11.7% over the last 12 months. Atlanta, along with Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas, had average prices that were lower than they were in January 2000.
In Los Angeles prices were down 1.5% in October after sliding 0.8% the month before. Year over year, L.A. prices are down 4.9%.
The Case-Shiller data cast a pall on recent, more promising market feedback. Last week, the Commerce Department said construction of new homes and apartments was up 9.3% last month from October and up 20.1% compared wikth November 2010.
Sales in California were up 4% last month compared with the same period a year earlier, though they fell 4.2% from October, according to real estate research firm DataQuick. The median home price in the state was $244,000, down 4.3% from a year earlier but up 1.7% from October, the report found.
-- Tiffany Hsu