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Home prices nationwide continued to decline in the first quarter of 2012, but at a moderate pace, according to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. S&P called the drop in prices as hitting "new post-crisis lows."
The national composite index fell 2% over the fourth quarter in Q1 and 1.9% from the year earlier period, S&P said.
The 10- and 20-city composite indexes had annual returns of -2.8% and -2.6%, respectively, for the month of March.
Meanwhile, average home prices for the 10-city composite fell by 0.1% in March when compared to February, while the 20-city composite index remained unchanged. Still, the composite indices in the latest S&P report are at their lowest levels since the housing crisis began in mid-2006.
Cities that saw home prices hit new lows in the most recent report for March included Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Portland.
"While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P indices. "This month's report saw all three composites and five cities hit new lows. However, with last month’s report nine cities hit new lows. Further, about half as many cities, seven, experienced falling prices this month compared to 16 last time."
"The national composite fell by 2.0% in the first quarter alone, and is down 35.1% from its second quarter 2006 peak, in addition to recording a new record low. The 10- and 20-city composite mimic these results; also down about 35% from their relative peaks and hit new lows."
Capital Economics said the report bolsters its belief that U.S. house prices have found a floor.
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