Home Prices Fall to 2002 Levels

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Home prices dropThe average price of a single-family home reached a new low in the first quarter and is now at 2002 levels, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

The downturn is the most acute since prices began falling several years ago.

The index fell 4.2 percent in the first three months of 2011, after declining 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Analysts said the first-quarter index decreased 5.1 percent from a year earlier.

For March, the index fell from a year ago in 19 of the 20 metropolitan areas tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller, with a dozen MSAs reaching new lows. Only Washington posted a monthly gain, as the index for home prices in the nation's capital rose 1.1 percent from February and was up 4.3 percent from a year ago. The index for Seattle home prices inched up 0.1 percent in March from the month prior, yet is 7.5 percent lower than a year earlier.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 10-city composite index declined 2.9 percent in March from a year ago and the 20-city index fell 3.6 percent.

"This month's report is marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation," according to David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee. "Home prices continue their downward spiral with no relief in sight."

Read the full story at HousingWire.

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