Ten additional U.S. cities will be added to a closely watched home-price index used as a benchmark for investors active in housing futures trading.

Standard & Poor’s said today it is adding 10 cities to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price indices, expanding coverage to a total of 20 metropolitan areas. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange in May began trading futures contracts based on the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price indices.

Beginning Dec. 26, 2006, the following cities will be added to the S&P/ Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland (Oregon), Seattle and Tampa. In addition, a 20-city weighted composite index will also be published.

“In just seven months, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices has established itself as the leading indicator on the overall health of the U.S. housing market,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “The addition of these 10 cities, and the 20-city weighted composite index, will ensure that the index remains the most authoritative, comprehensive and timely gauge of residential housing prices in the United States.”

“These 10 additional metro area indices, and a new, broader composite benchmark for U.S. housing, create even more opportunities for investment, risk management and financial innovation within this huge, $22 trillion asset class,” noted Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. The next update to the indices, reflecting market activity through October, will be released on Dec. 26.

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