In recent years, Utah boasted some of the best appreciating housing markets in the nation, but a report released Tuesday shows that the state has fallen to No. 29 for housing-price appreciation.

The report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency found that home prices in Utah fell 1.64 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year. Nationally, home prices declined 4 percent for the year-over-year period.

Prices fell in 41 states in the third quarter of 2008, according to the report. The agency's seasonally adjusted, purchase-only house price index is based on data from repeat home sales.

The home-price index fell 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2008 from the previous quarter — the largest quarterly drop in the index's 17-year history, the agency said in a statement. That compares with a 1.4 percent decrease in the second quarter of 2008.

Prices fell 6.0 percent between the third quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2008.

In Utah, four of the state's five most-populated areas ranked 111 or below among the 292 metropolitan areas nationwide that were ranked for home-price appreciation.

In the St. George area, home prices had increased by 73 percent from March 2003 to March 2008, making the area among the top appreciating housing markets in the nation, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. But in the third quarter of 2008, St. George's home prices dropped 8.47 percent compared with the same period a year ago, and the area ranked 235th among the 292 metro areas included in the national index.

Salt Lake City ranked 157th, with a year-over-year decline of 1.76 percent. Home prices in the Ogden-Clearfield area fell 0.38 percent. And the Provo-Orem metropolitan statistical area ranked 182nd, with a decrease of 3.10 percent.

The lone bright spot was Logan, which ranked 8th nationally as its home prices appreciated 4.55 percent from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008.


E-mail: jlee@desnews.com