NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices fell at the fastest annual rate on record in the first quarter, but the pace of month-to-month declines continues to slow, a closely watched housing index showed Tuesday.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price index reported home prices tumbled by 19.1 percent in the first quarter, the most in its 21-year history.
Home prices have fallen 32.2 percent since peaking in the second quarter of 2006 and are at levels not seen since the end of 2002.
The 20-city index fell by 18.7 percent in March from the year before and the 10-city index lost 18.6 percent. Those declines were a bit better than February's and marked the second straight month the indexes didn't post record drops.
Still, there are no signs home prices have hit bottom.
"We see no evidence that a recovery in home prices has begun," said, David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee.
All 20 cities showed monthly and annual price declines, with nine setting annual records. Fifteen cities posted double-digit drops and three cities — Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco — all recorded declines of more than 30 percent.
Minneapolis posted a 6.1 percent decline from February to March, and the biggest monthly drop on record for all of the metro area.
Charlotte, North Carolina, and Denver home prices had the best performance in March over February, both edging up less than 1 percent. Home prices in Dallas were flat in March.
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