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In the third quarter of 2011, the S&P /Case-Shiller national housing price index declined 3.9 percent from the previous year and 1.2 percent from the second quarter of 2011. On a monthly basis from August to September, both the 10- and 20-city composites experienced declines of 0.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Across the nation, seventeen of the 20 cities covered were down in September—Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix fell to new index lows. For the third consecutive month, Washington D.C. and Detroit have been the only two cities to post positive annual growth rates, increasing by 3.7 and 1.0 percent, respectively.
According to the FHFA housing price index, sales prices rose 0.2 percent from the second to third quarter of 2011. However, when compared to the third quarter of last year, prices fell 3.7 percent. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.9 percent in September. Of the nine census divisions, the West North Central division experienced the strongest price gains of 1.5 percent in the third quarter. Prices were weakest in the Pacific census division where prices fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter. Nationally, both the Case-Schiller and FHFA home price indexes are back to their first quarter of 2003 levels.