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Boston-area home values fell in November, says Case-Shiller price index

Home values in the Boston area dropped 1.6 percent in November compared with October, according to new data released by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, an index that tracks national real estate data.

It marks the third consecutive month of declining home values and brings the region’s home prices to about the level they were in April 2003, according to the index, considered one of the best measures of the nation’s housing market because it looks at repeat sales of homes.

The month-over-month decline in the Boston area is similar to what S&P/Case-Shiller found in all 20 US cities it tracks - values dropped 1.3 percent in November compared with the month before, the data show.


Karl E. Case, cofounder of the index and a retired Wellesley College economics professor, said despite the negative numbers he is expecting values to slowly head upward. In Massachusetts, he said, some affluent communities and Boston neighborhoods hard hit by the downturn have registered improved values over the last year, a sign that the housing market is improving.

“You are starting to see a turnaround,’’ Case said. “Things are looking better.’’

The state’s housing market has generally fared better than the rest of the nation throughout the extended downturn, suffering price declines of about 18 percent since the housing peak of 2005. That’s about half the drop in property values nationwide in the same period.

Jenifer B. McKim can be reached at jmckim@globe.com.