Home prices continue to plunge

Numbers released this week by Standard & Poor’s show a 12.7 percent annual decline in housing prices during February. This is the sharpest drop in the two-decade history of the S&P/Case-Shiller index, which measures the value of existing single-family homes in 20 major metro markets across the United States.

“There is no sign of a bottom in the numbers,” said David Blitzer, an S&P analyst. “Prices of single-family homes continue to drop across the nation.”

For the month of February, metro areas in the West -- specifically San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles -- experienced the biggest drops in home prices.

In year-over-year figures, Las Vegas and Miami were listed as the weakest markets, with price drops of 22.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively. Among the 20 cities tracked by the index, only Charlotte showed a positive return, with a 1.5 percent rise in home prices over the past 12 months.

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