From the WSJ:
Home prices declined in September and are poised for a grim winter as banks step up their efforts to take back and sell foreclosed properties.
Prices fell 0.6% from August, according to the widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 major metropolitan areas, breaking a five-month run of increases during the spring and summer, when higher sales volumes typically firm up prices.
For the third quarter, prices were down 3.9% nationwide compared with a year earlier, a slight improvement from the 5.8% annual decline recorded at the end of June, according to the Case-Shiller National Index.
Prices remain under pressure as the housing market continues to digest high volumes of foreclosed and other “distressed” properties that tend to sell at a discount. Though sales picked up at the end of the summer, analysts said buyers were only closing deals they perceive as a bargain, which could help explain why prices are sliding again.
“Buyers don’t want to tell their friends ‘I bought a home.’ People look at you sideways. But if it’s a foreclosure, they pat you on the back,” said John Burns, president of a home-building consulting firm in Irvine, Calif. “People need to feel like they’re getting a great deal.”