Houses were once thought to be one of the safest and most secure refuges for investment, but a key index is debunking that notion: The price survey shows that housing prices in 20 major U.S. cities fell by a record 18 percent over the past year.

The BBC:

House prices in 20 US cities fell by a record annual rate of 18.04% in October, according to a closely-watched home price survey.

The index shows that prices of homes [are] continuing to fall across the US with many areas showing record price falls.

David Blitzer, of Standard & Poor’s said: “Home prices are back to their March 2004 levels.”

The S&P/Case-Shiller index measures the prices of existing family homes in 20 metropolitan areas across the US.

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