The risk of home-price declines decreased in 93 percent of the 384 markets tracked at the end of last year by analysts with PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., although half still showed an elevated or high risk of depreciation.

Overall risk of price declines "decreased dramatically" during the final three months of 2009, PMI said, largely because of improvements in affordability and declining foreclosure starts. Affordability was helped by falling home prices, lower mortgage rates, and increasing personal income.

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