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by CareyBot

(This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2, "Where's the beef in home-price reports?") "Real estate prices are plummeting!" "Foreclosures are at an all time high!" "Prices predicted to decline another 20 to 30 percent!" These are the headlines that we face daily. It's no wonder that there's a crisis in consumer confidence. The truth of the matter is that the sky is not falling. In fact, contrary to what the press is reporting, real estate prices are stabilizing, and in a wide number of areas they are actually showing signs of improving. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index is the gold (scare) standard these days for those who report on the housing market. News agencies began using this index about two years ago rather than the indices pr...