House Prices Lose 0.5% in October, IAS Says
House prices continued to decline in October, falling 0.5% across the US, according to the latest data compiled by default management and residential collateral valuation service provider Integrated Asset Services (IAS). The Northeast and Midwest census regions both slipped (1.6% and 0.3% respectively) and the South and West regions gained a respective 1.1% and 0.5%. An approaching deadline for the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit spurred buying activity during the month, before Congress approved an extension of the credit, IAS said. “I have no doubt that the tax credit persuaded some buyers to make their purchase sooner than they otherwise would have,” said IAS president and CEO Dave McCarthy. “It’s reasonable to think the broader market will reflect that reality at some point down the road.” House prices look likely to continue their fall if unemployment rises, McCarthy said, leading more financially-stretched borrowers to default and foreclose. "There is potential for another wave of inventory next year, both from private sellers and banks," he said. “The risk of renewed home price declines remains significant.” Write to Diana Golobay.