For 20 major markets, the housing market decline was even steeper in January than it was in December, a sign that the light at the end of the darkness is not yet visible, according to a report released Tuesday.
Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a closely watched measure of 20 major cities, dropped 19 percent in January 2009 from January 2008. That was a slightly steeper drop than in December, the New York Times reported.
Thirteen of the 20 cities showed record rates of annual decline, according to S&P. From a peak in the second quarter of 2006, the composite is down nearly 30 percent.
Across the United States, as of January 2009, average home prices were at late-2003 levels.
Worst hit was Phoenix, which is down 48.5 percent from its peak in June 2006. Also hard hit were Las Vegas, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco. Faring the best were Dallas, Denver and Cleveland, which all dropped around 5 percent.
"There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data," David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement. "Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path, with all of the 20 metro areas reporting annual declines, and nine of the metropolitan statistical areas falling more than 20% in the last year."
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