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Widespread House Price Declines In Fourth Quarter, But Not Severe

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported today that home purchase prices fell by 1.3 percent nationwide during the fourth quarter of 2007 from the previous quarter and were down 0.3 percent for the year. This marks the first four-quarter decline in the purchase-only index since 1991.

By comparison, the purchase-only house price index declined 0.3 percent between the second and third quarters. “Although prices for home purchases in the [fourth] quarter fell in every state except Maine, only 16 states plus the District of Columbia showed price declines for the full year in 2007,” says James B. Lockhart, director of OFHEO.

The all-transactions Home Price Index (HPI), which includes data from home sales and appraisals for refinancing, rose 0.1 percent over the third quarter and 0.8 percent over the previous year.

“Both the purchase-only and all-transactions indexes showed relatively greater house price stability than do other nationwide house price indexes,” Lockhart says. “That may reflect, in part, the greater stability in the prime, conforming mortgage market served by the Enterprises than in other segments of the mortgage market.”

To learn more about the Boston housing trends, visit our website Boston Real Estate Market Report.

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