Case-Shiller Home Prices Fell 9.1% in December


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S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Fell 9.1% in December (Update1)
By Shobhana Chandra

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in December by the most on record, reflecting the deepening housing recession, a private survey showed today.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 9.1 percent from December 2006, after a 7.7 percent decrease in November. Nationwide, home prices fell 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline in 20 years of record keeping.

Prices may fall further as would-be buyers hold out for bargains and foreclosures add to the glut of unsold properties, extending the worst housing slump in a quarter century. Shrinking home values and credit restrictions threaten to reduce consumer spending and push the economy into a recession.

``It's inevitable that prices will decline a lot more in 2008 because inventory is so high,'' said Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. ``It'll put a pinch on consumer spending.'' Worldwide