Home prices fell sharply in February, but for the first time in 16 months the annual pace of deterioration slowed. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index measuring home prices across 20 major cities declined 18.6% in February from a year earlier. The movement marked a slight improvement from January’s 19% annual decline, but half of the cities posted deeper declines than in prior months. During the month of January, the numbers show that home prices fell 2.2%.
While looking at the data from peak-thru-February 2009, Dallas has suffered the least, down 11.1% from its peak in June 2007; while Phoenix is down 50.8% from its peak in June of 2006. The rates of decline from the respective peak of each market are evidence of how much each market has given back from the gains earned in the past 10-15 years. All of the 20 metro areas are in double digit declines from their peaks, with ten of the areas posting declines of greater than 30% and seven of those — Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego — in excess of 40%.
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