The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported a 1.7% decline in its seasonally-adjusted purchase only house price index in 1Q08 from 4Q07. 

Year-over-year, prices are down 3.1%, which is the largest decline in the purchase only index's 17-year history, according to the OFHEO press release. The broader all-transactions HPI reported just a 0.2% dip in the first quarter and a flat year-over-year. 

"While house price declines are widespread, homes financed with prime, conforming mortgages continue to hold up better than those financed with other types of mortgages," said OFHEO Director James Lockhart on why other indexes show much larger declines. He added that the results suggested "potentially more trouble for mortgage markets."

OFHEO's quarterly report showed price declines in 43 states in the purchase only index, with eight states showing quarterly price declines greater than 3%. 

Looking at the all transactions index on a YOY basis, California and Nevada dropped over 10%, while Florida declined 8.1% and Arizona was off 5.5%. 

States recording price gains were: Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Texas and Alabama ranging 4.5% to over 6%.

The three MSAs showing the greatest price declines over the year were in California: Merced, Stockton and Modesto, which all had an over 20% drop. 

Meanwhile, the three MSAs showing the greatest home price increases were: Bayou, LA, Grand Junction, CO and Wenatchee, WA, which reflected growth at 11% to 8%, respectively. 

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