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US home prices plunge by record 4.5%

WASHINGTON – HOME prices in the United States fell in the third quarter by the most in at least two decades, as the sub-prime lending crisis caused sales to slump.

Home values retreated 4.5 per cent in the three months ended Sept 30 from the same period last year, the most since records began in 1988, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. It followed a 3.3 per cent drop in the second quarter.

US consumer confidence was also weak, falling this month for the fourth straight month to its lowest in two years, on concerns about rising energy prices and financial market volatility.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer sentiment fell to 87.3 from a revised 95.2 last month, a sharper fall than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 144.69 points after one hour and 45 minutes of trade to 12,888.13.

Source: BLOOMBERG NEWS, REUTERS (The Straits Times 28 Nov 07)

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