Home prices down nationwide

Real estate valuation firm Clear Capital recently released its Home Data Index Market Report, detailing how home prices have fared through the first 10 months of the year.

According to the report, home prices have fallen nearly 3 percent year-over-year, accounting for 13 consecutive months of price declines. On a quarterly basis, homes prices rose in three of the four regions, but only marginally.

In the 15 highest performing major markets, home price gains were generally softer quarter over quarter. Home prices dropped the most in Las Vegas, falling more than 3 percent. The biggest average price increase was in Cleveland at approximately 6 percent.

Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, said any short-term gains in the market have been "nearly eliminated" as prices will likely continue to fall as 2012 nears.

"With current tepid demand expected to weaken even more, consumer confidence at record lows, and as the distressed inventory continues to flow into the market, we can expect another long winter as the housing market will truly be put to the test against these downward forces," he said.

Consumers who are in the market to buy a new home can capitalize on low prices by keeping their credit scores in positive territory. Maintaining a high FICO score can help consumers secure a low-interest loan.