New October data shows a decline in home prices and annual growth rates that point to a double-dip recession in housing, according to a new report from Standard & Poor’s.

The S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices report showed that home prices fell in all 20 metropolitan statistical areas and both the 10- and 20-city composites in October compared September. In addition, annual growth rates also declined in 18 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas and both the 10- and 20-city composites compared to the previous month. Six markets – including Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland, Seattle and Tampa - hit their lowest levels since home prices began to drop in 2006.

“The double-dip is almost here, as six cities set new lows for the period since the 2006 peaks. There is no good news in October’s report. Home prices across the country continue to fall,” S&P Chairman of the Index Committee David M. Blitzer said in a statement.

Ongoing trends contributing to the lackluster data, Blitzer said, include the expiration of tax incentives and slow economic recovery. Year over year, sales are down more than 25%, while the supply of unsold homes is about 50% above where it was at the same time last year. Delinquency rates, though somewhat improved, are still well above historical averages for both prime and subprime markets.

The October data marks a reversal from positive results earlier this year. The 10-city composite posted an annual growth rate of .2% in October, down from 5.4% in May. The 20-city composite had an annual growth rate of -.8% in October, compared with 4.6% in May.

Both city composites also fell from September, with the 10-city composite down 1.2% in October, and the 20-city composite down 1.3% that month.

Since the beginning of 2010, 12 of the metropolitan statistical areas and both composites have had at least six months of decline, though not consecutively. As of October, 15 metropolitan statistical areas and both composites faced three consecutive months of decline. The metropolitan statistical areas declined by 1% or more in October, with Atlanta suffering the largest decline at 2.9%.

As of October, average U.S. home prices were at the same levels as they were in mid-2003.

Compared to October 2009, the 10-city composite was up .2% and the 20-city composite fell .8%. Metropolitan statistical areas that showed year over year gains included Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.




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