After five straight months of gains through August, many market watchers had hoped home prices were finally trekking northward for good. No such luck: According to the just-released S&P/Case-Shiller Index, home prices fell in 19 of the nation’s 20 largest cities from September to October, bringing the index 3.4% lower than it was at this time last year. And while prices usually trend downward in the fall, the LA Times believes these figures portend a weak market in 2012.
“In the October data, the only good news is some improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices,” said the chairman of S&P’s index committee, with 14 markets seeing prices at least fall more slowly. The lone city to post a gain was Phoenix, and that was just 0.3%. The biggest loser, meanwhile, was Atlanta, where prices dropped 5%. (Read more S&P stories.)