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As Home Prices Sink, Home Ownership Heads to New Lows

Home prices across the nation are now right back where they were at the beginning of 2003. All that was gained is largely now lost, and the effect on home ownership could continue for decades.

"Consumer attitudes have gotten a lot more negative about long-term commitment," said Standard and Poors' David Blitzer, after reporting home prices through September had fallen a deeper-than-expected 3.9 percent compared to the third quarter of 2010. "They dropped to new lows. This takes them below the point we saw in 2009, where briefly we all thought this thing was about to turn around."

And that's the problem.

Every time we think things are turning around in the housing market, we get hit with some new problem, like last year's so-called "robo-signing" foreclosure paperwork scandal, which managed to stall the cleansing of distress in the market for over a year. Now that foreclosures are ramping up again, prices are coming down again.

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