Wednesday, February 25, 2009

U.S. home price drop at record pace in December: S&P

U.S. home price drop at record pace in December: S&P
Tuesday February 24, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prices of U.S. single-family homes plunged 18.5 percent in December from a year earlier as the monthly pace accelerated, according to a Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.5 percent in December from November, compared with a 2.3 percent decline in the previous period, S&P said in a statement.

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

In a separate index, home prices depreciated at a 18.2 percent pace in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, for the largest drop since the series began 21 years ago, it said. From the housing market peak in the second quarter of 2006, home prices have plummeted 26.7 percent, it said.

(Reporting by Al Yoon; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)

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