Housing prices drop in October

Single family home prices continue to decline and there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel - yet.


Single-family home prices fell more than expected in October, according to data on Tuesday that underscored the challenges facing the housing market.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas dropped 1.2 percent on a non-unadjusted basis, worse than economists' expectations for a 0.5 percent fall.

For the year, home prices are down 3.4 percent in October.

That's quite a difference between "expectations" and reality. But other data from November suggests a slight glimmer that things may be bottoming out in the housing market. New home starts are rising and inventories are declining, suggesting that more people are entering the market anyway.

No doubt the recovery in housing will be uneven and regional in nature. For some areas like Florida or Nevada, recovery will be slower than in the Midwest, the East, and Northwest where there has been some leveling off of declines in housing prices as unsold inventory disappears.

But it will be a decade or more say many analysts before the recovery is complete.

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