OpinionIndustry News

Credit crunch weighs on housing prices

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Standard & Poor's today released its S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index for August 2007, and the credit crunch that recently roiled the mortgage market weighed heavily on home prices. Of the 20 markets tracked by the index, only five remain in positive territory over the past year. However, the rate of appreciation in those markets has slowed, and even Seattle, the strongest market, showed a small monthly price decline. In fact, only two markets -- Charlotte and Denver -- showed a price increase for the most recent month. Seattle is still up 5.7 percent for the past year; Charlotte is close behind at 5.6 percent; and Portland is up just 2.8 percent. Atlanta and Dallas are basically flat with 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent increases, respectively. The worst-performing market had previously been Detroit with a 9.3 percent decline, but that dubious honor now goes to Tampa, which is showing a 10.1 percent decline over the past year. Previously hot markets ...