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S&P Index Records Sharpest Drop in Home Prices Since 2009

The latest home price gauge published by ""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.standardandpoors.com recorded its largest monthly decline since February 2009 and its largest annual decline since December 2009. The data has led the firm's top analysts to make the claim, ""The double-dip is almost here.""

The closely watched ""S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/sp-case-shiller-home-price-indices/en/us/?indexId=spusa-cashpidff--p-us released last week registered a decrease in residential property values in all 20 cities included in the study between September and October. Fifteen were down by 1.0 percent or more, giving the 20-city composite a reading of -1.3 percent. Atlanta posted the largest monthly decline of 2.9 percent.

The 20-city composite fell 0.8 percent from its October 2009 level. Only four metro areas â€" Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. â€" showed year-


over-year gains. October was the fifth consecutive month where annual growth rates across the board moderated from their prior month's pace or dipped into negative territory, and S&P says the data confirms a clear deceleration in home price returns.

While the composite of home prices is still above its spring 2009 low, six markets â€" Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland, Seattle, and Tampa â€" hit their lowest levels since home prices started to fall in 2006 and 2007.

""The double-dip is almost here, as six cities set new lows for the period since the 2006 peaks,"" said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. ""There is no good news in October's report. Home prices across the country continue to fall.""

Blitzer notes that 12 of the 20 cities in S&P's survey and the composite reading have posted at least six months of decline since the beginning of 2010, with 15 cities posting three consecutive months of depreciating values with October's report.

Blitzer says it's ""a further sign that the few months of positive print earlier [in the] spring were only a temporary boost.""

As of October 2010, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels where they were in mid 2003, based on S&P's index. Measured from June/July 2006 through October 2010, the peak-to-current price change for the 20-city composite is -29.6 percent.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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