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Price index drops record 18%

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A monthly home-price index that tracks price changes in 20 U.S. metro areas dropped 18 percent in October compared to the same month last year, with the largest declines in Phoenix (32.7 percent), Las Vegas (31.7 percent) and San Francisco (31 percent). The year-over-year decline was the largest on record for the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-metro area price index, which dates back over two decades, and all 20 metro areas experienced index drops from October 2007 to October 2008. The index measures price changes by comparing repeat sales of resale single-family homes over time. The slightest year-over-year index drops were in Dallas (3 percent), Charlotte (4.4 percent) and Denver (5.2 percent), according to the report. Detroit had the largest monthly decline among the 20 metro areas, falling 4.5 percent from September 2008 to October 2008. Next on the list was San Francisco, down 4.2 percent. Tampa, Fla., and Minneapolis both dropped 3.4 percent from September 2008...