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U.S. Home Prices Plunge in January: S&P/Case Shiller

U.S. single-family home prices plummeted in January, showing the first year-over-year drop in home values in more than a decade, according to an index of major metropolitan areas published on Tuesday.

The composite month-over-month Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 10 metropolitan areas declined 0.6% to 220.90, or a 0.7% year-over-year loss, S&P said on its Web site.

"The annual declines in the composites are a good indicator of the dire state of the U.S. residential real estate market," Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC, said in a release.

"The 10-City and 20-City Composites are both showing negative annual returns, a striking difference from the 15.1% and 14.7% returns they reported this time last year," he said. "The dismal growth in the 10-City composite is now at rates not seen since January 1994."

The composite month-over-month Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 metropolitan areas showed a 0.6% drop in January to a 202.03 reading, or a 0.2% year-over-year loss.