Home prices fell in 17 states during the last year, but most states “continue to have stable home values,” and a half dozen others even showed moderate price growth, according to a new analysis of repeat sales by First American LoanPerformance.

Home prices in five states — Wyoming, Utah, North Carolina, Alabama and Maine — grew at between 5 percent and 10 percent between September 2006 and September 2007, LoanPerformance reported, and at more than 10 percent in Hawaii.

Although most states –33 in total — saw at least modest price appreciation in past year, the trend has already reversed in some states. Prices have been falling for two months in New York, for example. But the state still makes LoanPerformance’s list of 27 states where prices are up between 5 percent and 10 percent, because all of the gains made in the last year haven’t been erased.

The findings were included in an announcement of the release of First American’s September 2007 LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI).

A recent First American CoreLogic report estimated that home prices were falling or not keeping pace with inflation in 247 of 381 metropolitan areas tracked. Prices were falling in 88 markets, and appreciating at less than 3 percent in 159 others, according to First American CoreLogic’s fourth-quarter Risk Monitor report. With inflation averaging around 3 percent, homeowners whose properties appreciate at a slower rate experience a decline in value in real terms.

PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., in a recent report gauging the risk of price declines in major markets, estimated that housing affordability — which improves when income growth outpaces home-price appreciation — showed gains in 297 of 381 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) during the second quarter, or 78 percent of those studied.

First American LoanPerformance’s analysis of the top 31 “core based statistical areas” showed prices fell in 19 metro areas, or 61 percent of those studied.

Communities in California and Florida held six of the top 10 spots on the list of areas experiencing the greatest price declines. In Florida, Cape Coral-Fort Myers (-11.49 percent), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (-8.37 percent), Orlando-Kissimmee (-7.66 percent) and Tampa-St. Petersburg (-7.65 percent) topped the list. In California, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (-13.59 percent) and L.A.-Long Beach-Santa Ana (-8.14 percent) made the top 10.

Many of the top 30 metro areas LoanPerformance says experienced price declines during the past year also show a higher-than-average number of foreclosure filings, according to the most recent numbers from data aggregator RealtyTrac Inc.

Riverside-San Bernardino, for example, had the third-highest rate of foreclosure filings per household in the nation — one filing per 43 homes — according to RealtyTrac. The rate of foreclosure filings per household exceeded the national average of one filing per 196 homes in Phoenix, Miami, L.A., Orlando, Tampa, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Miami and Atlanta.

Metro areas where prices fell in the last year but the rate of third-quarter foreclosure filings was below the national average included Boston, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

Foreclosure filings include default notices, notices of auction sales and bank repossessions, and the number of filings may exceed the number of homes in foreclosure because some properties are subjected to more than one filing.

One-year price changes, top 31 metro areas

Source: First American LoanPerformance

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