New York (AP) - Home prices are falling faster in the nation's largest cities, and a record number of foreclosures are expected to push prices down further through next year.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday fell 0.7 percent in September from August. Eighteen of the cities recorded monthly price declines.
Analysts say high unemployment, tight lending standards and millions of foreclosures will weigh on home prices.
"Unemployment is still high, people are afraid of losing their homes and credit is hard to get," said Maureen Maitland, vice president of S&P indices.
Still, Americans are gaining more confidence in the broader economy, a new report Tuesday showed. The Conference Board, a private research group based in
Yet the housing market remains depressed.
Among the cities in the Case-Shiller index,
The 20-city index has risen 5.9 percent from their April 2009 bottom. But it remains nearly 28.6 percent below its July 2006 peak.
And home prices have fallen in 15 of the 20 cities in the past year.
Prices were on the upswing in many cities from April through July, mostly boosted by government tax credits which have since expired. Job worries and record high foreclosures are dampening buyer demand and weighing on prices.
The national quarterly index, which measures home prices in the nine