NEW YORK - Home prices were unchanged in October, dashing hopes for a sixth straight monthly increase, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes on Tuesday.

The S&P composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas was flat in October after rising a revised 0.4 percent in September. An 0.2 percent increase was forecast in a Reuters survey, and September's rise was previously reported as 0.3 percent.

S&P said the annual rate of decline improved, however, with the 20-city index dropping 7.3 percent. A 7.2 percent downturn was forecast in the Reuters survey.

All 20 metropolitan areas and both the 20-city and 10-city indexes showed smaller rates of decline in October compared with September.

The 10-city composite index was also unchanged in October and fell 6.4 percent in the year, S&P said. This index rose 0.5 percent in September.

(Reporting by Lynn Adler; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)