Home Prices Hit New Lows

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NEW YORK-National home prices hit a new lows in the first quarter of 2011, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The report showed the U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in the first quarter, after having fallen 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010. These declines have all but wiped out the growth in housing values during the boom, bringing home prices back to their mid-2002 levels.

As of March 2011, 19 of the 20 markets covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller indices were down compared to March 2010. 12 of he markets and the 20-City Composite also posted new index lows in March. Among the results:

• Minneapolis posted a double-digit 10% annual decline.

• Washington was the only city where home prices increased on both a monthly (1.1%) and annual (4.3%) basis.

• Seattle was up .1% for the month, but still down 7.5% versus March 2010.

• 11 cities and both composites have posted at least eight consecutive months of negative month-over-month returns.

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