The Standard & Poor¹s S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices, released this morning (Sept. 25), declined sharply for both the 10-city and 20-city composites, continuing a trend of increasing monthly declines that began in January.

The 10-City Composite was down 4.5% versus July of 2006; the 20-City Composite was down 3.9% over the same time period.

"The decline in home prices clearly continued into the summer months," said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC and an economics professor at Yale University. "The further deceleration in prices is still apparent across the majority of regions, with 16 of the 20 metro areas showing a drop in their annual growth rate from what was reported in June."

Only five of the metro areas ­ Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Portland and Seattle ­ registered positive annual returns, but all five have shown deceleration in their rates of growth during the past year, with Atlanta and Dallas close to joining 15 other metro areas in registering a year-over-year decline in home prices.

Among the markets, Atlanta was up 0.3% in July from June and up 1.2% from July 2006; Boston was up 0.3% and down 3.4%, respectively; Charlotte was up 0.4% month to month and 6.0% year-over-year; Chicago was up 0.1% and down 0.9%; Cleveland was up 0.5% and down 3.6% ; Dallas was down 0.1% and up 0.8%; Denver was up 0.8% and down 0.7%; Detroit was up 1.3% and down 9.7%; Las Vegas was down 0.9% and down 6.1%; Los Angeles was down 0.5% and down 4.8%; Miami was down 1.7% and down 6.4%; Minneapolis was up 0.3% and down -3.4%; New York was down 1.0% and down 3.8%; Phoenix was down 0.8% and down 7.3%; Portland was up 0.4% and up 3.8%; San Diego was down 0.7% and down 7.8%; San Francisco was down 0.4% and down 4.1%; Seattle was up 0.2% and down 6.9%; Tampa was down 1.0% and down 8.8%; and Washington was down 0.9% and down 7.2%.