Home prices decline in January

A key gauge of home prices in the nation’s largest cities fell to a new post-crisis low in January, the latest sign that housing remains weak.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 American cities fell 0.8% from December to January and 3.8% from January 2011. Sixteen cities tracked by the index posted declines. Eight cities saw average home prices hit new lows.

“Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices.

All of the California cities in the index posted declines from the prior month. Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco fell 0.8%, 1.1% and 2.5% respectively. The drop continues a slide that began last year as sales weakened and the jobs picture remained bleak.

In January, Washington, Miami and Phoenix were the only metro areas that posted monthly gains.


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