U.S. home prices fell 3.9 percent during the last three months of 2010, back to where they were at the beginning of 2003 and near the low for the downturn set in 2009, according to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.
Looking back a year, the index showed prices down 4.1 percent, with 18 of 20 markets tracked in the 20-city composite index losing ground and 11 reaching new lows for the downturn.
Markets that have "double dipped" to new lows since peaking in 2006 and 2007 are Atlanta; Charlotte; Chicago; Detroit; Las Vegas; Miami; New York; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Seattle and Tampa.
"We ended 2010 with a weak report," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. Despite improvements in the overall economy, he said, "housing continues to drift lower and weaker."
Unlike the first dip in home prices from 2006 to 2009, when all cities saw prices move together, market activity is now more varied, Blitzer said.
California is doing better, he said, with gains from low points in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Looking at trends in individual markets from November to December, however, only Washington, D.C., saw price appreciation.
— Inman News