Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Price index rises for 2nd straight quarter

Year-over-year decline is narrowing

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A U.S. home-price index posted its second consecutive quarterly increase, rising 3.1 percent in the third quarter, according to a report released today. The U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. Census divisions and is a part of the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices was down 8.9 percent, though, on a year-over-year basis. This year-over-year decline in the third quarter is markedly lower than the 14.7 percent decline reported in the second quarter and smaller still than the 19 percent year-over-year drop in the first quarter, according to the report. A separate, monthly index, the 20-City Composite Home Price Index, posted an annual decline of 9.4 percent. And the monthly index has experienced gains in its annual rates of return during every month since the beginning of the year. September saw a 0.3 percent increase from August's levels, for example (see story). As of third-quarter 2009, U.S. home prices have returned to their Aug...