Home Prices Stall Again

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Home prices increased a weak 1.7 percent nationally in August, year over year, indicating a continued bumpy ride for the housing market. The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major U.S. cities shows that home prices fell in 15 of the 20 markets covered by the monthly report.

Markets that demonstrated year-over-year growth include Charlotte, Cleveland and Las Vegas, though all three remain in negative territory. Meanwhile, in relatively robust markets such as Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, annual growth rates slowed -- more evidence that a variety of factors are dragging down home price growth.

It is now abundantly clear that the housing market has not succeeded in holding onto the momentum provided by the now-expired homebuyer tax credits. Persistently high unemployment is another factor responsible for the drag.

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