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.

The 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.

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