January data released today by Standard & Poor's for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices in the United States, shows home price composites plummeting into negative terrain. S&P said that annual returns of the composite indices shows the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite down 0.7 percent and down 0.2 percent, respectively, from January of 2006. â€œThe annual declines in the composites are a good indicator of the dire state of the U.S. residential real estate market,â€? says Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC. â€œThe 10-City and 20-city Composites are both showing negative annual returns, a striking difference from the 15.1% and 14.7% returns they reported this time last year. The dismal growth in the 10-City composite is now at rates not seen since January 1994.â€? The decline in the returns of the composites is led by Detroit and Boston, starting their year with annual declines of 6.9% and 5.6%, respectively. http://www.standardandpoors.com.