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S&P Home Price Index Posts New Record Declines

Prices of existing single-family homes continued to decline in the second half of 2008, falling by a record amount in August, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released yesterday. The study’s 10-city composite posted an annual decline of 17.7 percent from August of 2007, while the broader 20-city composite fell by 16.6 percent, both of which are record drops.

August marked the fifth straight month that all 20 metro areas tracked by the index posted negative annual returns, with six markets reporting declines of more than 20 percent. The markets posting the steepest annual home-price declines were Phoenix, Ariz., down 30.7 percent; Las Vegas, down 30.6 percent; and Miami, down 28.1 percent. Charlotte, N.C. was the best performing market with a decline of only 2.8 percent for the year.

Boston and Cleveland managed to post modest month-over-month gains in August, while Chicago and Denver remained steady. San Francisco and Phoenix reported the worst monthly declines, falling 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

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