Home prices still getting weaker
First time in six years that any state reported prices falling over a 12-month period, government agency says.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home prices rose in the third quarter but at a slower pace than in the second quarter, a government agency said Thursday, the latest sign that the housing market is still trying to find a bottom.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) said that housing prices nationally edged up just 0.9 percent from the prior quarter, leaving them up 7.7 percent from a year earlier. That was down from the second quarter's gains of 1.2 percent quarter-to-quarter and 10.1 percent year-over-year.
The news follows a separate report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) earlier this month that showed median home prices fell 1.2 percent nationwide in the third quarter.
The OFHEO index differs from NAR sales stats because it measures repeat sales of the same houses while NAR tallies the median prices for all homes sold during the quarter.
Five states - New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, New Hampshire and Massachusetts - recorded lower prices for the quarter, according to OFHEO, with Michigan also showing a year-over-year decline of 0.6 percent.
It was the first time in six years any state reported falling prices over a 12-month period, according to the agency.
Among the better performing states, Idaho led the pack with an increase of 17.5 percent year-over-year. Utah had an increase of 17.4 percent and Oregon 16.9 percent.
Bend, Ore., led all metro areas in 12-month appreciation, returning 30.4 percent. Second was Boise, Idaho, which returned 26.5 percent. The Katrina-battered Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., area, recorded an increase of 23.3 percent.
The biggest 12-month price drop reported in any metro area, 6.1 percent, occurred in Anderson, Ind. That city's economy is allied to the foundering automotive industry.
Another auto-dependent area, Ann Arbor, Mich., where Ford (Charts) and GM (Charts) have major presences, was the second worst performer with prices falling 3 percent for the year and 2 percent for the quarter. Springfield, Ohio was third from the bottom with a year-over-year decline of 2.1 percent.
Slowing home prices have hit the new home construction industry hard, with leading companies such as Toll Brothers (Charts), Pulte Home (Charts), Centex (Charts), D.R. Horton (Charts) and Lennar (Charts) all reporting lower sales and falling earnings this year.