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Property values fall as distressed properties take their toll: FNC

U.S. home values declined again in December, suggesting ongoing pricing pressures from distressed properties, FNC said in its latest residential price index.

Home prices year-over-year declined 3.5%, while dropping at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.7% from November.

FNC said it gauges the true underlying value of homes by excluding foreclosure sales that come with steep discounts. Still, the final report, which shows declining prices, noted that distressed assets impact sales prices across the board.

Even though employment figures improved at the end of 2011, distressed properties continued to make up a significant portion of the home sales market, pushing property values downward, FNC said.

Seven markets showed positive month-to-month gains in  prices, including Baltimore, Charlotte, Detroit, Cincinnati, Houston, Miami and Tampa. The largest gain occurred in Houston where home prices grew by 2.5% in December after rising 1.6% in November.

Atlanta is on the opposite end of the spectrum with prices falling on average 2% per month since August.

Markets experiencing price declines in December included Chicago (down 1.4%), New York (down 2.2%), San Diego (1.7% drop), San Francisco (1.5%) and St. Louis (1.9%).

The markets of Detroit, San Francisco and Denver experienced modest pricing growth year-to-date with the markets ending 2011 with 1.9% to 3.3% growth.

Atlanta's price dropped year-to-date 10.2% at the end of 2011. Las Vegas was shortly behind with a 10% drop in prices.

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