Home prices fell in California, Nevada, Michigan, Michigan and Massachusetts during the last year, while Utah and Wyoming saw double-digit price appreciation, according to a house-price index based on repeat transactions involving conforming loans of $417,000 or less.

Nationwide, second-quarter home-price appreciation was essentially flat from the previous quarter at 0.1 percent, the lowest growth since the fourth quarter of 1994, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) said in releasing its House Price Index.

Home-price appreciation for the year ending June 30 was 3.2 percent, the lowest annual price change since 1996-97 but still better than the 2.1 percent growth in the Consumer Price Index during the same period.

Although housing prices were basically flat during the second quarter, recent financial market turmoil has forced many lenders to tighten their underwriting practices. The effects of those changes on housing demand and prices won’t show up in OFHEO’s statistics until the release of the next index three months from now.

In the latest House Price Index, significant price declines appear to be localized in areas with weak economies or where price increases were particularly dramatic during the housing boom, said OFHEO Director James Lockhart in a statement accompanying the release of the report.

Twelve of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing the greatest annual price declines were in California, and six others were in Florida (see chart).

While 61 of 287 ranked MSAs saw annual price declines, prices in the remaining 226 were up from last year — in some cases dramatically.

MSAs with the highest annual appreciation were Wenatchee, Wash. (23.54 percent); Provo, Utah (18.21 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah (16.03 percent); Ogden, Utah (14.3 percent); Grand Junction, Colo. (14.3 percent); Longview, Wash. (13.6 percent); El Paso, Texas (12.49 percent); Salem, Ore. (11.98 percent); Mobile, Ala. (11.26 percent); and Asheville, N.C. (10.9 percent).

States with the highest annual appreciation were Utah (15.28 percent); Wyoming (12.84 percent), Washington (9.12 percent); Montana (9.06 percent); New Mexico (8.81 percent); Idaho (8.42 percent); Oregon (8.18 percent); North Carolina (7.1 percent), Texas (6.94 percent); and Mississippi (6.73 percent)

For the year, prices were down 1.45 percent in Nevada, 1.42 percent in Michigan, 1.38 percent in California, 0.99 percent in Massachusetts, and 0.97 percent in Rhode Island.

Although only five states saw an annual price decline, prices fell in 15 states during the second quarter: West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, Florida, Ohio, and the five states that experienced annual declines.

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