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Home Prices Fall to Lowest Level Since 2002

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes fell for the sixth straight month in February, with the 10- and 20-city indices each dropping 0.8 percent from January, according to Standard & Poor's.


The 10-city index slid to its lowest level since May 2003 and the 20-city index dropped to its lowest level since October 2002.

Prices fell in 16 of the 20 cities surveyed, improving month-over-month in only Miami, Phoenix, and San Diego. Prices were unchanged month-over-month in Dallas. Prices were down year-over-year in 15 of the 20 cities, improving only in Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, and Phoenix.

Since February 2011, the 10-city index fell 3.5 percent and the 20-city index has fallen 3.6 percent. Since peaking in June 2006, the 10-city index is down 50.1 percent. The 20-city index is off 49.6 percent since it peaked in July 2006.

The month-over-month improvement in the price index for Phoenix was the fifth consecutive monthly gain and the eighth in the last 11 months. The month-over-month price increase in


Miami was the third in a row.

At the other end of the scale, prices have fallen month-over-month in Las Vegas for eight straight months and for 16 of the last 17 months. Prices have also dropped for seven straight months in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

The steepest month-over-month decline was 2.5 percent in both Chicago and Atlanta followed by 1.7 percent in Cleveland 1.1 percent in Boston and 1.0 percent in Minneapolis.

The steepest year-over-year price decline was in Atlanta where prices are off 17.3 percent since February 2011, followed by Las Vegas down 8.5 percent, Chicago 6.9 percent and Los Angeles 5.2 percent.

The January Case-Shiller Index reports were adjusted downward. January├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós reports ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô due to what Case Shiller described as data issues ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô did not include Charlotte.

With that updated information, each index fell 1.0 percent in January, instead of the originally reported 0.8 percent.

The revised year-over-year decline for January was 3.6 percent for the 10-city index and 3.5 percent for the 20-city index instead of the originally reported 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent respectively.

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£[W]hile house prices seem to be moving through the trough, there is little prospect of a significant and sustained rebound,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø ""Paul Diggle"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/property-economics/paul-diggle.html, a property economist with ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, said in a note.

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£After all,"" he added, ""if significant numbers of households take the opportunity of a price stabilisation to put their home on the market, the recent decline in the unsold inventory could come to a halt or even reverse.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø

About Author: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

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