U.S. home values fall

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Freddie Mac released its Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index on Tuesday. U.S. home values fell 1.9 percent when compared with the second quarter. During the second quarter, home values were down 3.1 percent compared with the third quarter of 2009.

Home values fell in eight of nine Census divisions. Only prices in New England rose.

“Home sales in the third quarter declined from the second quarter, in part because of the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit,” Amy Crews Cutts, chief deputy economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “Although sales rose in August and September, the net decline over the quarter was still large.  We’re now seeing the effect of the sales slow-down in home purchase prices.”

Cutts said foreclosed properties and short sales still make up a large part of the market. Freddie Mac forecasts that economic conditions will improve, “which should lower delinquency rates further over the coming year and relieve some of the downward pressure on home prices.”

Home values declined 3.2 percent in the third quarter in the South Atlantic Division, which includes Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Home values have fallen 6.3 percent during the past year and 12 percent over the past five years.

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