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Home prices in San Diego County were 9.6 percent lower in September than they were a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released today.

The index compares prices of standalone houses sold in September that had been sold at least one time before.

Broken into rough thirds of the transactions completed in September, the lowest-priced homes fared the worst, according to the index. That tier, homes priced lower than $474,647, dropped 3.6 percent from August, 15.8 percent from September 2006 and 16.4 percent from the peak for that tier in June 2006.

The middle tier — houses priced between $474,647 and $676,111 in September — logged a 1.2 percent drop from August, a 10.3 percent drop from September 2006 and an 11.8 percent drop from that tier’s peak in February 2006.

And the highest-priced houses, those priced at more than $676,111 in September, dipped the least overall — 1.6 percent from August, 5.6 percent from September 2006, and 7.2 percent from that tier’s peak in June 2006.

Aggregately, the index showed a 1.7 percent month-on-month decline, a 9.6 percent drop from September 2006, and a 10.7 percent drop from the peak in June 2006.

We’ll have more on this data, and other pieces for the housing market picture, in a story tomorrow. In the meantime, you can refresh your memory on why we report the Case-Shiller index and what trends have been illuminated since the index was broken down by price tiers last month. And check out Rich Toscano’s excellent work in A Nerd’s Eye View with graphs showing those trends and adjusting them for inflation.

KELLY BENNETT

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