The rate of home-price appreciation continued to slow in the third quarter, confirming a "national deceleration in house prices," the director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight said today. OFHEO's latest House Price Index showed the rate of appreciation falling in seven of nine U.S. Census divisions, and prices on the decline in five states: New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. More than half the cities in California experienced price declines in the third quarter. Nationwide home-price appreciation in the third quarter was 0.86 percent, or an annualized rate of 3.45 percent -- the lowest since the second quarter of 1998. That compares to a 5.1 percent annual appreciation rate in the second quarter of 2006. Nationwide, home prices were up 7.7 percent in the last 12 months. "Our newest data confirm last quarter's data that the housing market is in a decidedly different stage," said OFHEO Director James B. Lockhart in a statement. "...
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