Home Prices Lose Momentum in 3rd Quarter

Home prices didn't get the boost they needed in September, which is bad news for the housing market as whole. The national home price index fell 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2010, after experiencing a 4.7 percent increase in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Fifteen of the 20 cities in the index's composite are down over the last 12 months, although only Tampa, Fla., hit a new low. The number of foreclosures and the end of homebuyer tax incentives likely dragged down the market. (See the end of this post for a larger view of chart.)
As the economy teeters, the hidden inventory of homes with deliquent mortgages and pending foreclosures, including a fair number of vacant homes, insures that prices are unlikely to improve for quite a while. Additionally, new home construction remains at less than half its normal rate.

To see more in-depth information on the top 20 housing markets, visit our Case-Shiller gallery.

For more on home prices and related topics see these AOL Real Estateguides, whether you're looking to buy or sell:

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