Is Flat the New Up?

It's not time to give thanks yet for a recovery.

According to newly released data, home prices were essentially flat in September, taking the steam out of what looked like building economic momentum. Despite the resumption of growth in GDP (albeit lower than originally reported) and improved home sales and consumer spending, housing prices have stalled, causing some experts to warn of more price drops to come.

The Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks prices in 20 major U.S. housing markets, rose an anemic .3 percent in September, on a seasonably-adjusted basis, from the prior month. The increase, though smaller than expected, managed to eke out a fifth straight monthly gain for the closely watched index.