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House Prices Down Nearly 1% from August: Altos Research

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A market composite of housing prices compiled by Altos Research was down 0.4% from September to October and down 0.9% from August. The composite of 10 major housing markets put home sales prices at $501,377 in October, down from $503,401 in September and $506,180 in August. After dipping to $470,017 in January, the composite steadily increased through a July peak of $509,030, but declined every month since. Altos Research projects prices will continue to decline until the end of 2009 due to seasonal trends. Prices fell in 23 of the 26 markets surveyed during October. The greatest decline was in the Salt Lake City market, where prices were down 3.3% in October. Prices increased in the San Francisco (1.1%) and San Jose (1%) markets and prices stayed even in Miami. Prices also fell 2.1% in Phoenix and 2% in Los Angeles. In Las Vegas, site of the greatest decline since the housing downturn, the pace of declines has slowed, but the market still experienced a 1.2% decline from September to October. Altos said the Las Vegas median asking price was $354,347 in October 2007, but has since fallen 52% to $169,958 in October 2009 Inventories also declined in 23 of 26 markets. The 10-city composite put inventory down 3.4%. San Jose (7.4%) and San Francisco (5.6%) saw the greatest inventory declines and nine other markets experienced declines of at least 4% in October. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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