OFHEO: Home prices back to December 2005 levels
U.S. home prices fell 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from March to April, according to a monthly index compiled by the federal regulator that oversees the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For the 12 months ending in April, U.S. prices fell 4.6 percent, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) said. Because OFHEO’s monthly house-price index peaked in April 2007, the year-over-year change also represents the decline from the peak. On a nationwide basis, home prices have returned to December 2005 levels, OFHEO said.

OFHEO’s index shows less severe price declines than some other indexes because it covers a broader geographic area and does not include mortgages that are too big or too risky for purchase or guarantee by Fannie and Freddie. In the nine U.S. Census Divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March to April ranged from -2 percent in the Pacific Census Division (which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California) to 0.9 percent appreciation in the East South Central Division (which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama).On a year-over-year basis, home prices were down 15 percent in the Pacific Census Division but were up slightly in the West South Central (1.9 percent) and East South Central (0.1 percent).

Home prices fall in most reporting nations in Q1 ’08
Global Property Guide, a real estate research company, reports price fell in most nations tracked in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

Prices slid 38.2 percent in Riga, Latvia, during the first quarter compared to the same period last year and fell 13.2 percent in Ireland; 7.5 percent in Vilnius, Lithuania; 6.5 percent in Tallinn, Estonia; and 6.4 percent in Kiev, Ukraine; the company reported.

Slovakia had the highest year-over-year home-price gain in the first quarter, up 29.3 percent; followed by Shanghai, China, up 28.5 percent; Hong Kong, up 25.9 percent; Singapore, up 21.6 percent; Bulgaria, up 15.2 percent; and Cyprus, up 13.3 percent.

S&P/Case-Shiller: Price index falls 15.3% year-over-year in April
A price index covering 20 major U.S. metro areas dropped 15.3 percent in April compared to the same month last year, with 13 areas posting record declines. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index gauges home-price changes based on price pairs for the same homes over time.

The index dropped 26.7 percent in Miami from April 2007 to April 2008 — the highest drop among the 20 metro areas. Charlotte, N.C., had the slightest year-over-year decline, down 0.1 percent.

More foreclosure-prevention workshops planned in California
The California State and Consumer Services Agency reports that the state has held 17 foreclosure prevention workshops attended by about 6,000 people, and about half of them consulted with a lender representative or credit counselor about their options to keep their homes.

More workshops are planned as part of the state’s "90 Days of Hope" campaign, which is focused on assisting homeowners who have received notice that their interest rates will adjust to a higher level. Home owners can contact the Hope Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE or visit YourHome.ca.gov for more information.

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