U.S. home prices dropped 3.3 percent in July from a year earlier, the eighth consecutive decline, as foreclosed properties flooded the market.
Prices fell 0.5 percent from June, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington said in a report today. Economists had projected prices to fall 0.2 percent from the previous month, based on the average of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The agency revised the previously reported May-to-June decline to 1.2 percent from 0.3 percent.
Foreclosures are boosting the supply of available properties and reducing prices, even as mortgage rates tumble to record lows. The time it would take to clear the market of homes for sale was 12.5 months in July, the highest in more than a decade of data, according to the National Association of Realtors. Banks seized a record 95,364 properties from delinquent borrowers in August, according to RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based seller of housing data.
“We have a lot of homes for sale, and a lot of them are distressed properties,” said Thomas Lawler, founder and president of Lawler Housing and Economic Consulting in Leesburg, Virginia. “That is putting downward pressure on home prices.”
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