U.S. house prices declined 0.6% in July following June's downwardly revised -0.3%, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported Tuesday.

The consensus had been looking for a decline of 0.2% in the month.

Prior to revision, June's index had come in flat on the month.

For the 12 months ending in July, U.S. prices fell 5.3 percent, and the cumulative decline since the April 2007 peak is 5.8 percent.

Leading the decline was a 1.1% fall in the Middle Atlantic region, followed by a 1.0% decline in both the Pacific and New England regions.

Prices in the West South Central region fell 0.6%, while those in the West North Central fell 0.1%. Prices in the Mountain region fell 0.2%. They fell 0.7% in both the East North Central and East South Central.

The OFHEO monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of house backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

By Stephen Huebl and edited by Sarah Sussman
©CEP News Ltd. 2008