A government index shows home prices fell slightly in the fourth quarter of last year from the previous quarter, but remained stable.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Thursday that prices, adjusted for seasonal factors, inched downward 0.1 percent in the October-December quarter. The index was 1.2 percent below last year's levels.
The government index is based on loans owned or guaranteed by mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It declined less than other housing market measurements during the housing bust because it excludes the most expensive homes and some of the risker mortgages that fell into foreclosure.