Home Prices Extend Slump In Most US Metro Areas

Prices of existing U.S. single-family homes slumped in January, with 16 of 20 regions measured posting record annual declines, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index reported Tuesday.

The composite month-over-month index of 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.4 percent to 180.65 from December, bringing the measure down 10.7 percent from a year earlier and 12.5 percent from its July 2006 peak.

"It shows that the housing correction is still under way," said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Lehman Brothers in New York. "The weakness is not contained to the bubble areas."

Home prices in Las Vegas and Miami fell the most of any region, at 19.3 percent year-over-year, while Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles also suffered double-digit drops.

S&P said its composite month-over-month index of 10 metropolitan areas fell 2.3 percent to 196.06 for an 11.4 percent year-over-year drop.

Separately, a federal housing regulator said U.S. home prices fell approximately 1.1 percent between December and January while prices declined 3.0 percent in the 12 months ended in January.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight said its index of home prices is down 4.1 percent since a peak in April.

Prices fell most sharply in New England from December to January, dropping 2.9 percent. Prices in the Pacific region fell 2.4 percent while prices in the West North Central region dropped 2.3 percent. The Mountain region was the only one to mark a gain with a 0.1 percent increase in home prices.