Home prices were 10 percent higher in the second quarter compared to second-quarter 2005, though the quarterly appreciation rate hit its largest decline in the 30-year history of a national house-price index when compared to second-quarter 2005. The second-quarter appreciation rate was 1.17 percent, compared with 3.65 percent in second-quarter 2005, according to the latest Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight House Price Index. And the annualized quarterly appreciation rate dropped from 14.62 percent in second-quarter 2005 to 4.68 percent in second-quarter 2006. "The decline in the quarterly rate over the past year is the sharpest since the beginning of OFHEO's House Price Index in 1975," OFHEO announced. "These data are a strong indication that the housing market is cooling in a very significant way," said James B. Lockhart, OFHEO director, in a statement. "Indeed, the deceleration appears in almost every region of the country." Higher interest rates, a drop in speculative...
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