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S&P/Case-Shiller shows home prices down 3.3% in February

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The average price of a single-family home fell 3.3% in February with declines once again in most large metropolitan areas during the month, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. The ratings agency's benchmark 20-city composite showed a 1.1% drop from January with declines in 19 areas. The 10-city index also decreased 1.1% from the prior month and fell 2.6% from a year earlier. The nation's capital was the only area in February to experience a gain from a year ago with a 2.7% increase. San Diego posted its first decline in more than a year dropping 1.8% in February from a year earlier. Last month San Diego was only one of two MSAs to post gains. Meanwhile, Detroit was the only city to see prices rise in February from the prior month with a 1% gain, narrowly managing to avoid another new low, according to S&P. "There is very little, if any, good news about housing," according to David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee. "Ten of the 11 MSAs that recorded index lows in January fell further in February. The one exception, Detroit, is 30% below its 2000 price level. The 20-city composite is within a hair's breadth of a double dip." The rate for both composites and 14 metropolitan areas now have declined monthly for six consecutive months, according to S&P. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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