Another home price index showed third-quarter declines, and Integrated Asset Services said its data "portend particularly difficult times ahead for the country's housing market and for the U.S. economy overall." The Denver-based valuation and default-management firm said its IAS360 house price index fell 0.2% for the three months ended Sept. 30 from the prior quarter, with the Northeast region seeing the only gains for the period. The HPI is down 8.1% from the year-ago third quarter and off 15.4% from the first quarter of 2007. The company said third-quarter prices in the Northeast rose 1.6% from the prior quarter and are 0.6% higher than a year earlier. Meanwhile, home prices in the Midwest fell 1.4% for the third quarter, declined 0.5% in the West and slid 0.4% in the South. The HPI for the western region, which includes California and Nevada, is down 26.7% from its peak, according to the IAS360. IAS also said some of the hardest-hit counties in the nation continue to see decline with "no signs of bottoming." Two examples include Monterey County, Calif., which fell another 3.8% for the third quarter and is now down 41% the past year, and Lee County, Fla., which declined another 4.3% last quarter and ios 39% below the year earlier. "It's clear the housing market still faces many problems, not least of which the potentially disastrous number of foreclosures that may occur over the coming years," according to Ryan Tomazin, president of Integrated Asset Services. "For any number of reasons, the housing market is very fragile to say the least." On Monday, Clear Capital reported national home prices fell 5% for the third quarter, according to its home price index, while Altos Research said its 10-city composite price index dipped 1.6% for October and is off 3.1% the past three months. Write to Jason Philyaw.