U.S. home prices saw continued broad based declines in the month of
February, according to a report released by Standard and Poor's on
Tuesday, although the annual rate of decline in prices did not set a
new record for the first time in sixteen months.
report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home
Price Index fell at an annual rate of 18.6 percent in February, a
modest deceleration from the 19.0 percent drop in prices that was
reported for January.
Additionally, the annual rate of decline by
the 10-City Composite Home Price Index slowed to 18.8 percent in
February from 19.4 percent in January.
David M. Blitzer, Chairman
of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's noted, This is the
first month since October 2007 where the 10 and 20-City Composites did
not post a record annual decline.
However, Blitzer added, We
will certainly need a few more months of data before we can determine
if home prices are finally turning around.
While all 20 metro
areas reported negative annual rates of change in average home prices
in February, nine of the 20 areas showed improvement in their annual
returns compared to their returns in January.
The report showed
that the three worst performing cities continued to be from the
Sunbelt, with Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Francisco reporting the three
biggest annual declines. At the same time, Dallas, Denver and Boston
faired the best in terms of annual declines.