House prices continue to fall

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Falling house prices can affect wealthThose who were counting on the equity in their homes to provide them with wealth in their later years may be watching the housing market with a careful eye.

New figures from Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller reveal that house prices in 20 major American cities increased their pace of decline in July, falling by 16.3 percent compared with the same period in 2007.

This represents the greatest drop in the eight-year history of the 20-city index. Meanwhile, the 10-city index also saw its largest fall since it was created 1988, decreasing by 17.5 percent.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, said that the figures suggest there is "no evidence of a bottom" to house price decline.

"While some cities did show some marginal improvement over last month’s data, there is still very little evidence of any particular region experiencing an absolute turnaround," he commented.

Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami suffered the worst drops, with house prices in the three cities declining by nearly 30 percent over the past year.

In 2004, Las Vegas was at the heart of a housing investment boom, with property values rising by 44 percent in the third quarter of that year, Bloomberg reported.
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Personal Liberty News Desk