Index Finds Home Prices in 10 Metro Areas Fell in October, November

New York–U.S. home prices are falling at record rates, with prices in 10 major urban areas down 8.4 percent from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes, released Tuesday by New York-based credit-rating firm Standard & Poor’s.Prices dropped 6.7 percent in October. The previously biggest year-to-year decline was 6.3 percent, coming on the tail end of a recession in 1991, the Wall Street Journal reports.”We reached another grim milestone” in November, according to Robert Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC and co-developer of the index.Overall, the index fell 7.7 percent in November compared to November 2006 and was 2.1 percent lower than in October. Home prices in Miami dropped 15 percent in November compared to 2007; in San Diego, Las Vegas and Detroit, prices declined 13 percent. Portland and Seattle were the only two areas with annual increases.November was the 11th month in a row with negative annual returns and the 24th month of slowed returns. The Case-Shiller index is a closely watched home price gauge; however, some economists say the current situation is not quite as dark as the index suggests. Because the index doesn’t cover the entire U.S., some feel it does not provide a full picture of the housing market.