House prices fell in 21 states during the third quarter, leading to the first quarterly decline in average U.S. home prices in 13 years, according to a government index that excludes transactions involving homes with mortgages above the $417,000 conforming loan limit. Average home prices fell by 0.4 percent nationwide from the previous quarter, according to the latest House Price Index compiled by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). Prices were still up 1.8 percent from the same quarter a year ago, as third-quarter price declines did not entirely erase previous gains. But it was the lowest one-year increase since 1995, OFHEO said in releasing the latest numbers. Another index released Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, estimated that average home prices nationwide fell 1.7 percent during the third quarter and were down 4.5 percent from the previous year. The indexes differ in part because OFHEO uses data provided b...
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