The chance that home prices will fall during the next two years increased in 39 of the 50 largest U.S. markets during the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly risk index from PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. PMI's Winter 2008 U.S. Market Risk Index showed a greater than 50 percent chance of price declines in 13 of the nation's 50 largest housing markets, up from 10 in the previous quarter. PMI said some of the increase in house-price risk was due to changes to its model, which now includes data on foreclosure rates provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association. But in many cases, higher risk scores reflected "a significant deterioration of the housing market in the third quarter." There is a "high likelihood that home prices will be lower in many of these MSAs two years from now," the report said. Although the number of MSAs with relatively low home-price risk continues to outnumber those with relatively high risk, that could change if the economy and financial markets worsen fur...
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