Home prices plummeted 6.1% in October, a record year-over-year drop that exceeded forecasts. The index of prices in 20 major markets has dropped every month this year and fell 1.4% from the September figure, another record. The trend threatens overall consumer spending, making it more difficult for homeowners to dig into home equity funds, Bloomberg reports.
"The current state of the single-family housing market remains grim," said the Yale economist who co-created the influential index. Year-over-year prices fell for 17 of 20 cities surveyed, with Miami and Tampa sinking most. Predictions for coming months look similar, as more foreclosures mean more homes for sale and tougher rules make mortgages harder to come by.