Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities fell by 2.6 percent in March, hitting their lowest level since late 2002, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller housing index released Monday.

Home prices have fallen around 35 percent since the subprime bubble began to burst in 2006. There was one modestly positive sign: The rate of price erosion decreased in all but three cities, Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit, the only places where prices fell faster in March compared to the prior month. Homes in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas are now worth less than their January 2000 values.

The price decline met the forecast by economists polled by Bloomberg News, who also expected a 2.6 percent drop.