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Zillow estimates 4.3% decline in home prices

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Standard & Poor's is likely to report a 4.3% decline in June home prices year-over-year and a 1.2% increase from the previous month when it releases its June Case-Shiller Home Price Indices study next Tuesday, Zillow said Friday. Zillow, an online real estate marketplace, released its forecast of the S&P Case-Shiller results on Friday, saying the S&P 10-City Composite Home Price Index for June could drop as much as 3.5% year-over-year while still increasing 1.2% from May. Zillow's second-quarter home price report was released earlier this month, showing a 6.2% drop in 2Q from a year earlier and a slight 0.4% gain from the first quarter. Declining home prices remain a consistent drag on the nation's overall economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday. In a much-anticipated report from Jackson, Wyo., Bernanke noted volatile home prices are disrupting consumer spending. "For example, the sharp declines in house prices in some areas have left many homeowners underwater on their mortgages, creating financial hardship for households and, through their effects on rates of mortgage delinquency and default, stress for financial institutions as well," Bernanke said in his speech to the nation. "Financial pressures on financial institutions and households have contributed, in turn, to greater caution in the extension of credit and to slower growth in consumer spending." The S&P Case-Shiller report will be released Tuesday morning. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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