U.S. home prices continue decline

NEW YORK — The decline in home prices accelerated and spread to more regions of the country in October, according to data released Wednesday.

Prices fell 6.1 percent from October 2006 in 20 large metropolitan areas, according to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indexes, compared with a 4.9 percent decline in September. On a monthly basis, prices fell 1.4 percent in October, the fastest they have declined in at least the last seven years.

All but three of the 20 regions experienced a fall in real estate values, and even the three areas — Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Charlotte, N.C. — where prices were up from a year ago, had a decline from a month earlier.

Prices in the Twin Cities area were down 5.5 percent from a year earlier, slightly better than the national average.

"We are in uncharted territory," said Robert J. Shiller, the Yale economist and a creator of the home price indexes, said about the economy. By his calculation, the decline in home prices is greater than at any time since 1941, when the housing market was faltering at the start of the American entry in World War II.

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