Asking prices for homes across the country fell 1.4 percent in September, bringing the total drop in the last three-month cycle to 2.9 percent, according to data released by Altos Research LLC. The Mountain View, Calif.-based real estate research company released September findings of its 10-city composite listing price index on Wednesday. The findings are based on market conditions in 26 major U.S. metropolitan statistical areas including – among many others – Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The Real-Time Housing Market Report, a joint publication between Altos and market analysis firm Real IQ, showed asking prices fell in 21 of these 26 metropolitan markets. The fastest fall occurred in the Las Vegas market, where listing prices were down 3.5 percent during September and a total 8.1 percent during the last three months, according to Altos’ data. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Denver’s listing price increased 0.9 percent – the fastest rate of increase – followed by San Diego’s 0.8 percent increase. Both cities were joined by Houston as the only metropolitan areas studied that showed consistent asking price increases during the last three months. “The fleeting signs of stability we saw during the summer have largely vanished,” said Altos CEO Michael Simonsen in a press statement. “Job losses and the credit crunch will aggravate typical seasonal weakness during the coming fall and winter months.” Days-on-market declined in only three metropolitan markets during September. Of the 19 markets that showed an average of 100 or more days-on-market, Miami – which has maintained the title of slowest turnover every month since September 2007 – reported the slowest turnover of 167 days-on-market in September. As asking prices largely dropped, inventory levels also declined in 21 of the markets during September. Inventory contracted 6.3 percent in Austin and 6.2 percent in Detroit. Although a connection might be drawn between decreased asking price and decreased inventory, one source at Real IQ said there’s no immediate bottom for troubled markets in sight. “While inventories have continued to slowly decline, they remain at historically high levels,” said Real IQ research director Stephen Bedikian in a press statement. “The result is that prices remain under pressure in most markets. Until we see large and sustained declines in inventory, we’re not going to see a market bottom.” Read more about Altos Research>> Editor’s note: To contact the reporter on this story, email

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