Marking the fifth consecutive month of decline, home prices fell 0.8 percent in October, matching levels last seen in 2002, according to ""Lender Processing Services'"":http://www.lpsvcs.com/Pages/default.aspx (LPS) Home Price Index released Wednesday. As of October, the national home price average was $200,000.[IMAGE]
The year-to-date decline in October was 2.7 percent.
According to preliminary data, LPS estimates prices in November declined about 0.5 percent.
While LPS has tracked persistent declines since the market peak in June 2006, its analysts report price declines have slowed in the past few years.
The greatest declines were seen between June 2007 and December 2008 when prices fell $56,000.
Since then prices have fallen about $26,000, and declines have been interspersed with small seasonal upticks. These upticks, however, have not played an impactful role in price trends. Since 2009, prices have fallen an average of 4.2 percent per year.[COLUMN_BREAK]
The LPS index noted that price declines were consistent across the country. In fact, prices fell in October in 403 out of the 409 metro areas LPS tracks.
The five metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) posting the greatest declines over the month were all located in Georgia.
Other metros with notable declines were located in California, Nevada, and Connecticut Ã¢â‚¬" a state previously unseen on LPS' list of worst-performing MSAs.
Of the 26 largest metropolitan statistical areas, 24 experienced price declines in October.
Price increases occurred in metros located in Arizona, Florida, and Michigan.
Comparing year-to-date prices, Atlanta and the West Coast experienced the most notable declines. Prices fell 21.8 percent in Atlanta from the beginning of 2011 through October.
Additionally, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle have all seen declines of 5.1 percent.
Detroit and Pittsburgh encountered the greatest increases year-to-date as of October, posting increases of 9.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
LPS also noted in its recent index that price declines varied somewhat between higher-priced and lower-priced houses.
The highest priced homes, making up the top 1 percent of homes, declined 0.7 percent, while the lowest priced homes, the bottom 20 percent of the market, declined 0.9 percent.