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January home prices drop to a four-year low

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Twenty-five metro areas saw home prices plummet to the lowest levels since the 2007 housing crash, RadarLogic said in its latest RPX Composite Index. RadarLogic said an oversupply of homes, high rates of mortgage defaults, tighter lending standards and a housing market riddled with foreclosures weighed down January prices. The index, which tracks home prices across 25 major markets, declined 3.8% between December and January and 3.4% year-over-year. "The month-over-month change in the RPX Composite price through January 2011 suggests that housing markets have yet to turn the corner from crisis to recovery," RadarLogic said. The drop in January home price is the third largest decline in 10 years, according to RadarLogic. Some of the largest year-over-year January price declines occurred in Atlanta, Jacksonville and Milwaukee, where home prices fell 15.6%, 13.9%, and 12.9%, respectively. Boston, Washington, and Chicago suffered the largest month-over-month declines, with each experiencing a price drop in the 8% to 10% range. Home prices in New York outperformed other areas, with the New York price index rising 1% from January 2010 levels. The largest year-over-year gains occurred in Miami, Jacksonville and Philadelphia — all of which rose at least 15%. Miami experienced RXP price gains of 27.7% The largest year-over-year price decline occurred in Boston where the index fell 53.3%. Atlanta and Washington D.C. followed closely behind with drops of 38.3% and 21.9%, respectively, RadarLogic said. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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