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Home prices struggle out West

While most of the West struggled, home sales in San Francisco showed minor improvements.

While most of the West struggled, home sales in San Francisco showed minor improvements.

From how the West was won, to how the West was lost? A new report on home prices could suggest homebuyers' interest in moving to the West Coast could soon dip.

According to Clear Capital's monthly Home Data Index, home prices drops were the steepest in that part of the country, as eight of the nation's 15 lowest performing markets are in the West. Industry experts say the region's housing market could experience a double-dip recession if the trend continues into the second quarter of 2011.

Despite the struggling market on the left coast, national home prices have risen since their lows during the housing crash, up 4.2 percent over the past two years.

"From a larger perspective, prices are still up 4.2 percent off the absolute lows of the housing crash," said Alex Villacorata, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. "When comparing this growth to other economic indicators over the same period, it is clear that the housing market still has a long way to go toward a sustained recovery."

Home affordability reached record levels last year nationwide. With home prices 0.7 of a percent away from reaching their lowest levels ever in the West, levels of high affordability will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.