We have seen broad improvement in home prices for most of the past six months. However, the gains in the most recent month are more modest than during the seasonally strong summer months. Fewer cities saw month to month improvements in September than in August in both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted figures. Nationally, the U.S. National Composite rose by 3.1% in both the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2009. Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted their fifth consecutive monthly increase with September’s report. Earlier some analysts voiced concern that the end of the first-time home buyer program would result in a drop in activity. While housing starts did slip in October, the federal government recently extended and expanded the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s

This may be a bit of a transition period…You can look down the street and have 10 houses to choose from.

Maureen Maitland, vice president for index services at Standard & Poor’s

Though we have seen some signs that the worst may be over, the housing industry is not out of the woods yet. Nor is the broader economy.

—Federal Reserve President Sandra Pianalto on 17 November

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