House prices continue to drop

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Is your house still a worthwhile investment?Those who hoped that the rising value of their property would help see them through their golden years may have already started re-evaluating – now, new figures show the slide in house prices is continuing.

Figures from the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes revealed a double-digit decline nationwide, compared with the same period last year.

Prices fell by an annual rate of 16.6 percent during the third quarter, while its separate index of 10 major U.S. cities showed a decline of 18.6 percent.

"The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals," commented Case-Shiller index committee chairman David Blitzer.

He said that current house prices in many areas are comparable to what they were in early 2004.

Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco were the three metropolitan areas that showed the steepest drop compared with 2007. In all three locations, average house prices are around 30 percent less than they were last year.

At the same time, a separate report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that existing home sales were down 3.1 percent month-on-month in October.
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