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The widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 large U.S. metropolitan areas fell 0.1% in December from November, the second straight month-over-month drop. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images )

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Home prices in the nation’s largest cities declined slightly in November from October, as the market showed signs of cooling during the slower fall season, according to a closely watched index.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 large U.S. metropolitan areas, released Tuesday, fell 0.1% from October--the first decline since November 2012. But prices soared compared to a year earlier, rising 13.7%.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, called November a “good month for home prices,” noting strong year-over-year price appreciation.

“Prices typically weaken as we move closer to the winter,” he said in a statement.

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Western metros continue to lead the recovery. Prices in Las Vegas rose 27.3% compared to November 2012; San Francisco 23.2%; and Los Angeles 21.6%.

The Case-Shiller index, created by economists Karl E. Case and Robert J. Shiller, is widely considered the most reliable read on home values.

The housing index compares the latest sales of detached houses with previous sales, and accounts for factors such as remodeling that might affect a house's sale price over time.

Nine cities posted price gains from October. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa, Fla., have seen 12 or more straight monthly increases.

But after a rapid run-up in prices in 2013, Blitzer said the pace of those increases likely will slow this year.

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