Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Index shows slowdown in price declines

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U.S. home prices fell a seasonally adjusted one-tenth of a percent from March to April, and were down three-tenths of a percent in the first four months of the year, according to a government house-price index that excludes many homes purchased with risky mortgages.The Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly House Price Index tracks the purchase prices of homes backing mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Monthly data are volatile, but "we may be starting to see signs of stabilization in prices for houses funded by conventional conforming loans" in the numbers for the first four months of the year, FHFA Director James Lockhart said in a statement.FHFA's home-price index shows home prices down 6.8 percent from a year ago, and off 11.2 percent from their April 2007 peak. Because it doesn't track homes purchased with riskier subprime loans, the index may understate price increases and declines.From March to April, prices were down in five of nine Census D...