Home Prices Take Record 19 Percent Plunge In Jan.
U.S. home prices dropped by the steepest annual rate on record in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller housing price index released moments ago.
In the 20 cities monitored by Case-Shiller, home prices plunged 19 percent in January compared to January 2008.
Overall, prices in the 20 cities are off 29 percent from their peak in summer 2006.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that February sales of existing homes jumped 5.1 percent compared to February, largely on the strength of sales of distressed homes.
According to the Case-Shiller index, 14 of the 20 cities reported double-digit price declines compared to January 2008. Phoenix, where home prices have been hit harder than any other large U.S. city, showed the largest decrease from December 2008 to January 2009, with prices dropping 5.5 percent. Year-to-year, home prices in Phoenix were down 35 percent from January 2008.
Home prices in Dallas and Denver performed the best, relatively speaking, losing only 4.9 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, compared to January 2008.
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