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Home prices fall 7.6 percent from year-ago: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The value of existing U.S. single-family homes in metro areas fell 7.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2007 with homes in the West tumbling 17.4 percent, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday.

The quarterly survey of metro region prices also showed that prices fell in 115 of 150 metropolitan areas with several California cities seeing deep, double-digit drops in prices.

A metro region including parts of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw home price declines of 29.5 percent while Riverside-San Bernadino measured a 32.7 percent drop from the year-ago quarter.

Several Florida regions that saw big price gains during the recent housing boom have fallen sharply with the Gulf Coast city of Ft. Myers clocking a 33.1 percent drop in values. Tampa-St. Petersburg saw prices decline 18.8 percent in the second quarter.

The trade association said that about one-third of home transactions are distress sales that either take place through foreclosure or ‘short sales’ where the holder of the mortgage agrees to take a loss.

Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Tom Hals

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