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Home prices moving downward during March, first quarter

Home prices were down both month-over-month and year-over-year recently.

Home prices were down both month-over-month and year-over-year recently.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home prices declined during March, as well as the first quarter of 2011.

Overall, homes for sale cost potential buyers 0.3 percent less than February and 2.5 percent less than the last quarter of 2010. Additionally, according to the agency's Home Price Index, property prices were also down 5.5 percent year-over-year.

"In many local real estate markets, particularly those hit hard by this cycle, foreclosures and other distressed properties are still a key factor in recorded and anticipated future sales and may be delaying price stability or recovery," the FHFA's acting director Edward DeMarco stated.

Furthermore, DeMarco relayed that serious delinquency rates are declining, meaning consumers have a better handle on their expenses now than before.

The Mountain Division suffered the worst price decline of the nine Census Divisions, as its average fell 2.4 percent. The West South Central Division had the best improvement, as prices grew 0.5 percent.

A recent RealtyTrac report discovered that foreclosed property sales accounted for 28 percent of all home transactions during the first quarter of 2011, which lowered the national home prices.