The Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index for November was flat with October, FHFA reported Tuesday. This suggested that the declines shown in the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices released earlier in the day were likely more affected by sales of foreclosed and otherwise distressed properties.

The flat performance of the HPI came on top of a previously reported 0.7% increase in October that was revised downward to a 0.2% increase. For the 12 months ending in November, U.S. prices were down 4.3%, as measured by the HPI. The U.S. index is 14.9% below its April 2007 peak and roughly the same as it was in August 2004.

The Case Shiller 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite indices were down 0.4% and 1.6% year-over-year and down 0.4% and 1%, respectively.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.According to the National Association of Realtors, distressed properties accounted for a third of all sales in November, with 19% of sales made to investors and 31% made for all-cash, none of which would have been counted in the FHFA data.

Regionally, prices were up 1.2% in the Pacific region but down 6.3% from last November; down 1.9% and 11.2%, respectively, in the Mountain region; down 0.1% and down 3.1% in the West North Central; up 1.3% and down 1.2% in the West South Central; down 0.5% and down 2.9% in the East North Central; up 0.8% and down 3.6% in the East South Central; up 0.3% and down 1.2% in New England; down 0.2% and down 1.3% in the Middle Atlantic; and down 0.7% and down 7% in the South Atlantic.

With a base index of 100 set in January, 1991, the regional indices in November were: U.S. 190; Pacific 179.4; Mountain 208.7; West North Central 200.1; West South Central 195.1; East North Central 171.6; East South Central 187; New England 207.5; Middle Atlantic 206.2; and South Atlantic 187.9.