National home prices declined 9.8% year-over-year in September, according to First American CoreLogic’s home price index (HPI). In August, the year-over-year decline was 11.1% and on a month-over-month basis prices declined 0.4%, ending a five-month run of consecutive monthly price increases. When distressed sales are removed from the equation, year-over-year national prices declined only 6% in September. But in some local markets, distressed sales helped prices improve. In the Dallas market, September year-over-year prices were up 0.24%. When distressed sales are removed, prices were down 1.98%. Looking to next year, First American CoreLogic said it expects prices to continue to decline in the next six months, and begin to rebound in the spring. Short-term factors that will affect the market include above-average levels of foreclosures, inventories and unemployment will continue to take their toll in many major metropolitan markets in the short term, the real estate research firm said. “We have now seen a return of more traditional seasonal patterns with the slight decrease in our month-over-month HPI for September,” said First American CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming. “While the improvement in the year-over-year decline is encouraging, high foreclosure rates and increasing distressed sales are likely to continue to hold prices down.” Nevada continues to lead the worst performing states, with 25.5% year-over-year price declines in September, followed by Arizona (20.3% decline), Florida (17.7% decline), Michigan (15.1% decline) and Idaho (14.9% decline). First American CoreLogic’s HPI is down 29.9% from its April 2006 peak. Excluding distressed sales, it’s down 20.9%. Write to Austin Kilgore.