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Home prices down for sixth straight month: CoreLogic

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Home prices fell 5.7% in January from one year ago, the sixth straight month of declines, according to the CoreLogic (CLGX) Home Price Index. Prices fell a revised 4.7% in December. CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said the housing market faces a number of barriers to recovery including negative equity, which limits homeowner mobility, the lingering overhang of the shadow inventory of foreclosures and, of course, weak demand. And that overhang could be growing. The Royal Bank of Scotland released a report Thursday showing the daunting amount of distressed homes that need to be sold. According to the report, the percentage of distressed home sales spiked from 40% to nearly 60% in January, and the slope is trending upward. In Nevada, distressed homes account for more than 80% of sales there. "We are looking out for renewed demand in the coming months as the spring buying season gets underway to hopefully reduce the downward pressure," Fleming said. Of the 20 markets included in the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, CoreLogic reported 18 of them saw price declines in January. Detroit home prices saw the largest declines at 13%. States with the highest appreciation in prices were West Virginia (5.5%), North Dakota (3.3%) and New York (1.9%). The states with the largest drops were Idaho (15.7%), Alabama (12.1%) and Arizona (11%). Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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