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Double-dip warning

Real estate price index: declines in 15 of 20 metros

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After rising in the second quarter, a quarterly index of national home prices fell in the third quarter, according to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price Indices report, released today. The indices, which are based on repeat sales of single-family homes over time, have a base value of 100, with levels above 100 representing the percentage of home-value appreciation since January 2000. The U.S National Home Price Index fell 1.5 percent year-over-year and 2 percent month-to-month in the third quarter, to 135.48. This comes after both year-over-year and quarter-to-quarter increases in the second quarter, partially driven by an April 30 federal homebuyer tax credit program deadline. Both the monthly 20-city and 10-city composite indices increased slightly in September compared to the same month a year ago -- 0.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively -- but for the fourth straight month annual growth rates were smaller compared to the pre...