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The Case-Shiller home price index declined once again in May. The index, which is the most accurate available proxy for home prices and is calculated by comparing subsequent sales of the same home, fell 1.4 percent for the month.

The low-priced tier of the index once again fell hardest, declining 2.9 percent for the month. The middle tier fell .6 percent and the high-priced tier dropped by 1.1 percent. This is the first time during the housing bust, at least as far as I remember, that the high-priced tier declined by more than one of the other two tiers.

From their respective peaks, the low-priced index has fallen by 38.0 percent, the mid-priced index by 30.1 percent, and the high-priced index by 20.1 percent.

The aggregate index is down 28.9% since the November 2005 peak. By this measure, overall San Diego home prices are now lower than they were in October 2003.

— RICH TOSCANO

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