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U.S. home-price index falls 14.1%

Data based on repeat sales of single-family homes

A U.S. home-price index, based on repeat sales of single-family homes over time, fell 14.1 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year -- a record in its 20-year history. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller national index, which tracks more than 100 metro areas and covers about 70 percent of the country, declined 6.7 percent in the first quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2007. During the 1990-91 housing recession, the annual rate for the national index hit bottom with a 2.8 percent decline, by comparison, according to the report. A separate index that tracks monthly home-price changes for 20 metro areas across the country also set a new record with a 14.4 percent year-over-year decline in March. The S&P/Case-Shiller price indices have their share of critics -- some say the sampling of metro areas in the monthly index experience more dramatic price fluctuations than many other metro areas in the country, for example, and the market-specific i...

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