A newly enhanced index that ranks metropolitan statistical areas based on the risk of declining home prices indicates "a shift in risk toward Florida and California, as well as certain areas of the Southwest," according to PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Walnut Creek, Calif.PMI said its U.S. Market Risk Index now features risk ranks that combine areas with consistent characteristics. The MSAs ranking highest on the index, with at least a 60% chance that home prices will decline over the next two years, are Riverside, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; and West Palm Beach, Fla. Five of the 11 MSAs facing a greater than 50% (but less than 60%) chance of price decline are in California (Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego) and four are in Florida (Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa), PMI reported. "Our new model gives more weight to the recent volatility of an area's price movements and is better suited for the vastly different market we are in today," said Mark F. Milner, chief risk officer of PMI Mortgage Insurance. "Our prior model, in contrast, was tuned to the rapidly appreciating market we were in from 2002 to 2006." PMI can be found online at http://www.pmigroup.com.

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