Early estimates for the first quarter indicate substantial downturns in a number of hot real estate markets, leading many to speculate as to how far prices will fall, and how severe losses in the price-sensitive subprime sector will be.

Annualized month-over-month home price appreciation in Bakersfield, Calif., at the end of the first quarter fell to negative 1.98% from 24.92% a year earlier, while Scottsdale, Ariz., fell to 15.3% from 33.5% and Miami, Miami Beach and Kendall, Fla. fell to 12.43% from 24.82%, according to monthly sales data tracked by research firm First American Real Estate Solutions. Nationally, home price growth in the first quarter - at about 5.2% - is the most pronounced deviation from the one-year rate in the past 15 years, according to JPMorgan Securities.

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