American house prices have fallen as much as 3.5% in the third quarter in some states, with Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada the worst hit. Daily Telegraph

The area with the biggest quarterly price decline was Palm Bay, Florida, where they slumped 12.4% from a year ago, closely followed by Sacramento, California, down 10.5%, and Sarasota, Florida, off 10.4%.

Across the US, the median price for a house fell by 2% in the three months to September, according to the quarterly survey by the National Association of Realtors. This was in spite of the fact that in 93 out of 150 metropolitan areas surveyed, prices rose.

Looking at the national picture, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said: 'Over the near term, home sales are likely to be fairly flat as the lingering impact of the credit crunch filters through the system through the end of the year.'