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Case Shiller index announces a drop in home prices for October

A foreclosure sign in front of a house in Miami, Fla.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: Now to the Housing index. Let's bring in Juli Niemann, analyst at Smith Moore and Company. She's with us live from St. Louis as she is every Tuesday. Good morning Juli.

JULI NIEMANN: Good morning Jeremy.

HOBSON: Juli -- I'm looking at the numbers from the closely watched Case Shiller index of home values. It came out earlier this hour. In October, prices dropped 2.9 percent in Atlanta, that was the worst of the 20 cities in the survey. Two percent drop in Chicago, down a little more than 1 percent in Seattle. In fact ALL 20 cities are down. Am I crazy or is there a pattern going on here?

NIEMANN: Today's data basically just reenforces the further price declines we're seeing. That conforms to the 10 percent decline that Case Shiller is really anticipating. As poiting to the fact that there's a lot green shoots hopefully in the building industry. But everybody's just grasping at straws. The inventory overhang is the big problem. The sands states -- Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona -- and foreclosures and mortgages aren't easy to get. Rates are climbing, and standards are tightening.

HOBSON: But consumers, Juli, are supposedly getting more confident. We're getting some positive numbers in various other sectors of the economy. Why is the housing market living in a world of its own?

NIEMANN: Truly it's the difference between short term and long term. Short term -- there's a little more job stability, savings rating is up a little bit, consumers are paying down they're debts, so there's a few extra coins in the jeans here. And if they shop, retailers have a 50 percent red-on tag, give it to me free sale, so we shop. If we go out to dinner, it's Groupon and Restaurants.com. So there's a little bit more spending going on there. But long term commitments like marriages and mortgages -- no way.

HOBSON: Do you have any coins in the jeans right now Juli?

NIEMANN: $1.38.

HOBSON: Juli Niemann, analyst at Smith Moore and Company, thanks so much.

NIEMANN: You bet.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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