Nevada City Virtual Tour

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



In Tuesday's other main economic report, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of house prices in 20 metropolitan areas was flat compared with the month before on a seasonally adjusted basis, frustrating expectations for a gain of 0.1 percent. (that's called a gain? more like a statistical variation of nothingness)

On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices fell in 14 of 20 cities, with Atlanta and Las Vegas among the biggest losers, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller data.

The annual rate of decline slowed, however, with prices in the 20 cities down 3.8 percent compared with a year-over-year decline of 4.1 percent the month before. That still was a bigger drop than the expected 3.5 percent decline in August.

Analysts said the weaker-than-expected home price data was disappointing but not altogether shocking as the market struggles to get out from under a glut of unsold homes and ongoing foreclosures that are holding prices down.

While prices are forecast to remain depressed for some time, any further declines are expected to be modest.

"This has been a five-year process and I think we are at least closer to the end of the hemorrhaging in housing prices than we've been in a long, long time," said Chan.

The struggling housing market continues to be one of the biggest hurdles for the economic recovery as attempts to bolster the sector have had limited success.

In the latest efforts, the Obama administration said on Monday it would expand a mortgage refinancing program in a step that could help up to a million borrowers.

"I'm glad that they're trying. This was a clever idea. But more needs to be done," Yale economist and index co-founder Robert Shiller told Reuters Insider.

A separate home price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed prices declined 0.1 percent in August from July.

The index is calculated using purchase prices of houses financed with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

(Well, are we done yet?)
(Gotta sell? Wanna buy? Want to talk about this stuff? I'm here for you.)

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