For the first time in 13 years, house prices fell in 21 states during the third quarter, according to a government index.

Average home prices fell by 0.4 percent nationwide from the previous quarter, according to the latest Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight House Price Index [730 Kb PDF].

The index tracks homes with mortgages under $417K.

Those states hit hardest in the third quarter were: Michigan (-3.7 percent), California (-3.6 percent), Nevada (-2.4 percent), Massachusetts (-2.3 percent), Rhode Island (-2.2 percent), Florida (-2.1 percent), New Hampshire (-0.4 percent), Arizona (-0.2 percent), Minnesota (-0.06 percent) and Ohio (-0.06 percent).

Overall, prices were still up 1.8 percent from the same quarter a year ago, as third-quarter price declines did not entirely erase previous gains. Still, it was the lowest one-year increase since 1995, OFHEO said.

Fortunately, the Pikes Peak region appears to be insulated from the free fall some markets have experienced. Average home prices for the quarter did decline, but only by 0.6 percent.

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University of Colorado at Colorado Springs senior economist Fred Crowley attributes the local residential real estate market’s stability to the fact that locals haven’t experienced the exponential annual home price increases that occurred in other places during the last five years. As a result, he said, the Colorado Springs market service area has so far escaped major home value declines.