Home Prices Decline Across Country

8.9% declines posted for fourth quarter in 10 biggest markets
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 10:38 AM CST
A for sale sign noting a reduced price is shown in front of a house in Albany, N.Y., in this Nov. 27, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, file)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Home prices in the top 10 metro areas slumped 8.9% over the previous year, the largest decline in 20 years, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller price index, released today. "Wherever you look things look bleak," one economist tells the Wall Street Journal, noting that declines hit 17 of the top 20 markets, with Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix,  and San Diego all off more than 15%.

In a broader measure released today, home prices fell 0.3% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, and 1.3% from the previous quarter, according to a report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. That decline was more than four times the drop between the previous two quarters. And experts say things will get worse, as buyers hold out for better deals, Bloomberg reports. "It's inevitable that prices will decline a lot more in 2008 because inventory is so high,'' says one economist.