WASHINGTON – Home prices are falling further, suggesting a bottom hasn’t been reached in many metro areas.Millions of foreclosures are expected to pour onto the market in the coming years. That’s likely to force prices down and hurt even cities that had begun to rebound. Investigations into banks’ foreclosure paperwork could further deter buyers and weigh down prices.The past few months have been the worst time in a decade for the housing market. Few people have bought homes, and among the small pool of buyers, many have purchased foreclosures and other distressed properties.The impact was apparent Tuesday when Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller released its latest index for home prices in 20 major U.S metro areas. The average price for all markets fell 0.2 percent in August and 15 cities posted declines.But the foreclosure problem is far from over. A "shadow inventory" of homes on the verge of foreclosure is bound to force prices lower well into next year. About 2 million loans are in foreclosure, and another 2.4 million borrowers have missed at least 90 days of mortgage payments, according to LPS Applied Analytics.
By Alan Zibel, Oct 26, 2010 Associated Press Real Estate
Link to article