US home price drops set records in Jan

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Home prices sank by the sharpest annual rate on record in January, and the pace continues to accelerate, but there were a handful battered metro areas where price declines slowed, according to data released Tuesday.


The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by a record 19 percent from January 2008. It was the largest decline since the index started in 2000. The 10-city index dropped 19.4 percent, also a new record.

All 20 cities in the report showed monthly and annual price declines, with 13 posting new annual records. Prices dropped by more than 10 percent in 14 cities.

"There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data," David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee, said in a prepared statement. "Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path."

But in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. — areas all ravaged by foreclosures — annual price declines eased.

Six cities, including Minneapolis, Charlotte, Seattle and New York, showed smaller price declines in January compared to December.

Faring the best were Dallas, Denver and Cleveland with annual price declines around 5 percent in January.

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