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RadarLogic: Home prices down, demand picks up slightly

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Home prices as measured in the Radar Logic RPX Composite Price Index fell 4.4% for the 12-month period ending in September, the New York-based research firm said Thursday. Despite prices continuing on a downward trajectory, demand is starting to pick up in areas across the country, New York-based Radar Logic said in its latest September 2011 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report. The RPX Composite price index, which tracks home values in 25 metropolitan areas, has experienced year-over-year declines well above 4% since February. Home prices as measured in the Radar Logic RPX Composite Price Index fell 4.4% for the 12-month period ending in September, the New York-based research firm said Thursday. Despite prices continuing on a downward trajectory, demand is starting to pick up in areas across the country, New York-based Radar Logic said in its latest September 2011 RPX Monthly Housing Market Report. The RPX Composite price index, which tracks home values in 25 metropolitan areas, has experienced year-over-year declines well above 4% since February. Still, Radar Logic is noticing several positive changes in the market. Twenty five of the metropolitan areas surveyed reported a 15.4% year-over-year increase in home sales in September, which is the largest gain for the month of September since 2003. Radar Logic says supply and demand is still out of balance with the National Association of Realtors reporting an inventory level of 3.3 million single-family homes. Still, the latest report is beginning to see signs that housing is shifting at least slightly in a new direction. "We may indeed be seeing the beginning of at least a soft landing in housing," said Michael Feder, president and CEO of Radar Logic. "Activity is stable, price declines have slowed and it is unlikely that many more borrowers will enter default or that many more homes will go 'underwater.' While this may not be the beginning of a recovery, the data suggest it may well be the beginning of an equilibrium, which if the case, should and probably will boost buyer confidence. If it does, a recovery may not be far away." Radar Logic says going forward it expects the year-over-year trend in home prices to remain in the negative for some time. But that rate of decline should trend slower until prices reach bottom. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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