Home prices fell in 34 states last year as it became harder to get a mortgage and foreclosures hammered property values, First American CoreLogic said.

Prices for single-family detached houses fell 10.6% nationally — the biggest decline since the unit of First American Corp. of Santa Ana, Calif., started tracking the data in 1976.

"The geographic breadth of the decline expanded in 2008," Mark Fleming, First American's chief economist, said in an interview Monday. Even markets with few foreclosures "are being drawn in by fundamental economic conditions."

First American CoreLogic, which sells mortgage data, said properties with defaults or foreclosures climbed 76%, to 3.4 million.

U.S. home prices have dropped 18.5% from their peak in July 2006 and are now at May 2004 levels, the unit said.

Before last year, the only annual price drop for houses in the last three decades was a 2.9% decline in 2007, according to First American CoreLogic.

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