US Housing Prices Still Falling

New York, Feb 1 (IANS/EFE): Prices of single-family homes in the 20 largest US metropolitan areas fell 1.3 percent in November from the previous month and 3.7 percent compared with November 2010, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices from Standard and Poor's.

November was the second straight month to see price declines in 19 of the 20 areas studied.

Only Phoenix, one of the cities hardest hit by the housing bust, defied the trend, posting an increase of 0.6 percent, while home prices in Atlanta plunged 11.8 percent over the 12 months ending in November 2011.

"Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, said in the report.

"The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand," he said.

Case-Shiller's index for the 10 largest metro areas is 1 percent above its low point during the housing collapse. The figure for the 20 major cities has edged up only 0.6 percent from its low.

Home prices have fallen nearly 33 percent from the pre-crisis peaks reached in the summer of 2006.


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