Industry News

OFHEO: Q4 prices fall in every state but Maine

Majority of declining MSAs in California, Florida

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U.S. home prices fell 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a government price index that excludes more expensive homes. The fourth-quarter price declines erased previous gains for the year and left home prices down 2.4 percent from their April 2007 peak, according to a house-price index published by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). OFHEO's national purchase-only house-price index fell 0.3 percent between the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2007, but prices of other goods and services rose 4.3 percent, meaning average home prices fell 4.6 percent in real terms. It was the first four-quarter decline in OFHEO's index since its inception in 1991. "While the declines are significant and quite large in some areas, the market still needs to work through its overhang of unsold inventory," said OFHEO Chief Economist Patrick Lawler in a statement. "How much further down that inventory will ultimately push prices will depend on a number of factors, ...