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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Home prices are falling across most of America's largest cities, and average prices in eight major markets have hit their lowest point since the housing bust.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday fell 1 percent in November from October. All but one city, San Diego, recorded monthly price declines.
Eight others sank to their lowest levels since prices peaked in 2006 and 2007: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; Miami; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Tampa, Fla., and Detroit, which saw the largest drop at 2.7 percent from the previous month.
Millions of foreclosures are forcing prices down, and many people are holding off making purchases because they fear the market hasn't hit bottom yet. Many analysts expect home prices to keep falling through the first six months of this year.
"With these numbers, more analysts will be calling for a double-dip in home prices," said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's Index Committee.
Over the past year, prices have risen in four major metro areas. Prices rose 3.5 percent in Washington, the largest gain. Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco also posted gains.
Some of the worst declines have come in cities hard hit by foreclosures.
As of November, average home prices in Las Vegas have fallen 57.2 percent from their peak in August 2006 and are back to where they were in late 1999. Another foreclosure hotbed, Phoenix, is down 53.9 percent from its June 2006 peak. Average home prices there are back to where they were in 2000.Miami has fallen 48.8 percent from its peak in December 2006, and is selling at late 2002 levels.
The 20-city index has risen 3.3 percent from its April 2009 bottom. But it remains well below its July 2006 peak.
By Tom Fitton
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