November home prices fell year-over-year in 16 out of 20 markets covered in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, according to a report published Tuesday.

Prices dropped 5.3 percent in the 20-city composite and 4.5 percent in the 10-city composite, a smaller decline year-over-year than in October when the former registered a 7.3 percent decline and the latter a 6.4 percent decline. Both composites registered a 0.2 percent drop month-to-month.

November was the third consecutive month of single-digit declines in home prices after 20 consecutive months of double-digit declines, the report said.

"On balance, while these data do show that home prices are far more stable than they were a year ago, there is no clear sign of a sustained, broad-based recovery," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a statement.

In contrast to October, when prices declined in every market, four metropolitan areas entered into positive territory in November compared to the same period the year before: Dallas gained 1.4 percent, Denver 0.5 percent, San Diego 0.4 percent, and San Francisco 1 percent.

Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco also saw month-to-month increases from October to November, with the last registering the most consecutive months of increases: eight. Dallas and Miami remained flat.

The rest saw decreases. The metro areas with the biggest year-over-year price declines were Las Vegas at 24.5 percent, Phoenix at 14.2 percent, Tampa at 13.2 percent, and Detroit at 13 percent. …CONTINUED

"Four of the markets — Charlotte, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa — posted new low index levels as measured by the past four years. In other words, any gains they might have seen in recent months have been erased and November is now considered their current trough value," Blitzer said.

Average home prices nationwide are similar to where they were in late 2003, the report said. From the indices’ peak in the second quarter of 2006 through November 2009, prices are down 30 percent in the 10-city composite and 29.2 percent in the 20-city composite.

According to another home-price index released Tuesday, home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent from October to November. October’s revised month-to-month increase was 0.4 percent.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index is calculated using purchase prices of homes mortgaged through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Price changes in the nine census divisions covered varied regionally, from -0.4 percent in the East South Central Division (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama) to a rise of 2.3 percent in the Pacific Division (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California).

From November 2008 to November 2009, U.S. home prices rose 0.5 percent. Between the index’s April 2007 peak and November 2009, they fell 10.3 percent.


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