Tuesday, February 28, 2012


National home prices fell 4% in the fourth quarter of 2011, putting them back at levels last seen in mid-2002.

That's the fifth consecutive annual loss and the biggest decline since 2008, when markets were in free fall and prices plummeted more than 18%.

Prices have been falling since they topped out in 2006, and are down 33.8% from their peak, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index.

"The housing market ended 2011 on a very disappointing note," said David Blitzer, spokesman for S&P. "While we thought we saw some signs of stabilization in the middle of 2011, it appears that neither the economy nor consumer confidence was strong enough to move the market in a positive direction as the year ended."

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