A U.S. home-price index based on repeat sales of resale homes dropped a record 18.2 percent year-over-year in the fourth-quarter, while a separate monthly index tracking 20 U.S. metro areas plummeted a record 18.5 percent year-over-year in December 2008. The price drops were the most severe in the 21-year history of the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index data. "The broad downturn in the residential real estate market continues," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, in a statement. "There are very few, if any, pockets of turnaround that one can see in the data. Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path, with all of the 20 metro areas reporting annual declines, and eight of those (metro areas) now with negative rates exceeding 20 percent." Thirteen of the 20 metro areas tracked have set consecutive records in monthly declines since December 2007. Phoenix experienced the largest year-over-year index decline in ...
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