Home prices post 18 percent annual drop in October

(AP Photo/Marianne Armshaw)
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NEW YORK (AP) -- A closely watched index shows home prices dropped by the sharpest annual rate on record in October.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index released Tuesday fell by a record 18 percent from October last year, the largest drop since its inception in 2000. The 10-city index tumbled 19.1 percent, its biggest decline in its 21-year history.

Both indices have recorded year-over-year declines for 22 straight months. Prices are at levels not seen since March 2004.

Prices in the 20-city index have plummeted more than 23.4 percent from their peak in July 2006. The 10-city index has fallen 25 percent since its peak in June 2006.

None of the 20 cities saw annual price gains in October - for the seventh consecutive month.