National home price declines slowed slightly in August, according to an index tracking homes bought using mortgages purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

U.S. home prices fell 0.6 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from July to August, compared to a 0.8 percent decline in July, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency

National home-price declines slowed slightly in August, according to an index tracking homes bought using mortgages purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

U.S. home prices fell 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from July to August, compared with a 0.8 percent decline in July, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index.

The index tends to understate home-price appreciation and declines because it excludes mortgages too large or too risky for Fannie and Freddie to buy for their own portfolios or bundle into securities sold to investors.

The FHFA monthly index showed a 5.9 percent decline in home prices since August, 2007, and a 6.5 percent drop since an April 2007 peak. Monthly price changes in nine Census divisions ranged from a 1.8 percent decline in the Pacific Division to 0.4 percent appreciation in the New England Division.

Working with numbers from Case-Shiller, analysts at Fitch Ratings say national home prices have fallen by 22 percent since peaking in 2006, and are expected to decline another 10 percent in the next 18 months (see story).

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