EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Homeowners using the Internet to sell properties in February reduced their average price expectation to $217,000, a 6% drop from January, according to a monthly survey by HomeGain, an online real estate broker.

More important, February’s price average came in 12% lower than December’s, when it reached a 12-month high of $244,000.

Two of the nation’s top 10 metropolitan markets posted increases in expected selling prices last month; San Diego was up 7%, and Portland, Ore., 5%. Of the eight where expectations fell, the San Francisco area reported the biggest drop, 14%; Denver and Seattle were both off 13%; Orange County, Calif., 9%; New York City, 5%; Los Angeles, 3%; Boston, 7%; and Sacramento, Calif., 2%.

“While the decrease in February wasn’t staggering, to see eight of the nation’s top 10 markets retreat at the same time is a troubling sign,” said Bradley Inman, founder and chief executive of HomeGain. “It’s a definite indicator that the economic storm clouds forming back in October and November are beginning to have an effect on consumer confidence and on the nation’s existing-home sale market.”

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