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Home prices fall for seventh straight month: CoreLogic

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Home prices fell for the seventh consecutive month in February; however, non-distressed property prices seem to be stabilizing slightly. According to the CoreLogic (CLGX) Home Price Index, prices fell 6.7% in February compared to the same month in 2010. This follows a 5.5% year-over-year drop in January. CoreLogic revised its January numbers. Prices fell 5.5% compared to the year ago period. Chief economist Mark Fleming said that aside from distressed property sales, the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization. Excluding distressed sales, home prices declined just 0.1% compared to February 2010. "When you remove distressed properties from the equation, we're seeing a significantly reduced pace of depreciation and greater stability in the market," Fleming commented. "Price declines are increasingly isolated to the distressed segment of the market, mostly in the form of REO sales, as the stock of foreclosures is slowly cleared." West Virginia witnessed the largest home price appreciation between February 2010 and February 2011, up 5.4%, followed by New York (up 4.7%), North Dakota (up 4.1%), Maine (up 3.6%), and Alaska (up 1.2%). Idaho saw the greatest price depreciation during the same time period, down 14.6%, followed by Arizona (down 12%), Florida (11.2%), Michigan (down 11.1%) and Illinois (down 11.1%). The New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. metro area was the only statistical area tracked by CoreLogic that experienced positive price growth over the 12 months ended February, up 0.8%. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR. Disclosure: The author holds no relevant investments.

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