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Clear Capital: home prices drop 5% in three months

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National home prices fell 5% for the three months ending in October, while double-dip disparity still rages on a micro-market level, according to the Clear Capital Home Price Index. The data joins a chorus of bad news, both on Altos Research's falling home prices and an unexpected rise in mortgage defaults for first time this year according to an Amherst Securities report. Home prices dropped only 0.2% in the three months prior to September, but a major two-month decline through October had not been seen since early 2009. While prices in October remain 7.7% above 2009, they have dropped 6.8% from the year's peak in mid-August. Clear Capital said six of the largest local markets are officially in a double-dip. Even so, Alex Villacorta, Clear Capital's senior statistician said, prices are very dynamic at the local level. "For example, all six major metropolitan areas in California are out-performing both national and West region numbers in terms of yearly gains," Villacorta said. "Conversely, four of the top markets in Florida are either in or very near double-dip territory, even though national prices remain nearly eight percent above 2009 lows." Prices dropped 3.1% in the West through October, 4.7% in the South, and 2.2% in the Northeast. In the Midwest, though, prices dropped 8.7%. Atlanta, New Orleans and two Ohio markets -- Columbus and Dayton -- experienced quarterly price declines more than double the national rate. Write to Jon Prior.

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