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The Washington area is still at high risk for drops in housing prices by the end of next year, despite a recent uptick in home sales and prices, according to a new report.

There is a 77 percent chance that local home prices will be lower in the fourth quarter of 2011 than in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the second-quarter 2010 Risk Index published by PMI, a mortgage insurance company.

Though the figure declined from an 89 percent chance from the third quarter of 2009, the report still classified the area’s risk of price declines as “high.”

The area’s unemployment rate and affordability ranked relatively well, but prices — which declined 15 percent year-over-year from the fourth quarter — really hurt Washington’s score, said PMI spokesman Joel Luebkeman.

Updated data from the first quarter, though, showed price stabilization, Luebkeman said.

“If all other factors remain the same … you would expect the risk score for the D.C. area to show additional improvement,” he said.

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