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Washington among the few areas where price drops slowed

Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller numbers out this morning show a Washington-area home-price picture that is slightly less bad than it was last month.

Prices declined 2.2 percent from November to December, a smidgen better than the 2.5 percent price decline reported the previous month. For the year, Washington prices fell 19.2 percent, very slightly improved over the 19.4 percent annual price decline reported a month ago. The Washington metro area is among just a handful of areas (the others are Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego) that reported any improvement in the rate of price decline.

Nationally, Case-Shiller reports that average prices in the fourth quarter were 18.2 percent lower than a year earlier, the largest decline in the 21 year-history of the index. Prices are back to levels last seen in the third quarter of 2003, and are down 26.7 percent from their peak in the second quarter of 2006.

Prices have fallen hardest over the past year in Phoenix, down 34 percent; Las Vegas, down 33 percent, and San Francisco, down 31.2 percent over the past year.

If you would like to take a closer look at the data, here's the latest release.

By Maryann Haggerty  |  February 24, 2009; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  Statistics  
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