Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home prices are out for the top twenty home markets and taking its place at the top is Phoenix where prices are down nearly 33% for the year, Las Vegas nearly 32% and Boston was down (good news, if you can call it that) only in the single digits.

From Reuters News Service….
NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Prices of U.S. single-family homes in October plunged a record 18.0 percent from a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released on Tuesday that indicated a U.S. housing market in the throes of a deep recession.

The battered U.S. housing market is critical to the U.S. economy, with a wide-ranging impact from the construction industry to the sale of appliances and furniture. After hurting economic growth for multiple quarters, a continued deterioration could prolong a turnaround for the world’s largest economy, which has been in a recession since late last year.

The composite index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.2 percent in October from September. The price drops, both on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis, came in worse than expectations based on a Reuters survey of economists.

S&P said its composite index of 10 metropolitan areas declined 2.1 percent in October from September for a 19.1 percent year-over-year drop, also a record.

“The bear market continues; home prices are back to their March, 2004 levels.” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement.

As of October 2008, the 10-City Composite Home Price Index is down 25.0 percent from its mid-2006 peak, and the 20-City Composite Home Price Index is down 23.4 percent, he said.

The U.S. housing market is in the worst downturn since the Great Depression as a huge supply of unsold homes, tighter lending standards and record foreclosures push down home prices.

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