4/24/12, "US home prices drop for 6th straight month," AP
"Home prices dropped in February in most major U.S. cities for a sixth straight month, a sign that modest sales gains haven't been enough to boost prices.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index shows that prices dropped in February from January in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks.
The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Cleveland. Prices rose in Phoenix, San Diego and Miami. They were unchanged in Dallas.
The declines partly reflect typical offseason sales. The month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal factors.
Still, prices fell in 15 of the 20 cities in February compared with the same month in 2011. That indicates that the housing market remains far from healthy despite the best winter for sales in five years.
The steady price declines have brought the nationwide index to its late 2002 level. Home prices have fallen 35 percent since the housing bust.
Prices in nine cities fell to their lowest levels since the housing bust. The average price in Atlanta fell 17.3 percent in February compared with a year earlier. That's the biggest annual drop in the history of the index for any city.
Still, there were some positive signs in the report: Phoenix, one of the cities hit hardest by the housing bust, has seen five straight monthly gains. And most cities are reporting smaller annual declines than in previous months.
The S&P/Case-Shiller monthly index covers half of all U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The February figures are the latest available."...via Drudge