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FHFA: Home prices dip 0.3% in January

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Home prices dipped 0.3% in January from the month before, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In December, home prices dropped a revised 0.3% as well. The FHFA calculates the monthly index using purchase prices on homes backed by mortgages sold or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Home prices also fell 3.9% from one year before and remain 16.5% below its peak in April 2007. Home prices are declining through a stagnant selling season over the past six months, according to another index put out by CoreLogic (CLGX). Even as the spring could bring more selling activity, as it traditionally does, a number of barriers still face the housing market including elevated foreclosures, negative equity and weak demand. For the nine Census Divisions in the FHFA home price index, the biggest drop, 1.3%, came in the Mountain and South Atlantic Divisions. Prices in the West and South Central divisions actually increased 1.6% from the previous month. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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