U.S. home prices dropped 3 percent in January compared to the same month last year, and fell 1.1 percent compared to December 2007, according to an index released today by the U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

U.S. home prices dropped 3 percent in January compared to the same month last year, and fell 1.1 percent compared to December 2007, according to an index released today by the U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

Also today, Standard & Poor’s released a separate monthly price index that measures price changes in 20 major U.S. metro areas. That S&P/Case-Shiller index fell 10.7 percent year-over-year in January and sank 2.4 percent compared to December 2007.

The price index by OFHEO, an agency that regulates government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is based on single-family home-sale transactions that involve conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

This index measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties.

Regionally, the OFHEO index plunged 9.4 percent in the Pacific region, 4.3 percent in the New England region, 4.2 percent in the East North Central region, 3 percent in the South Atlantic, 2.2 percent in the West North Central region and 0.8 percent in the Mountain region while rising 1.5 percent in the West South Central region, 0.7 percent in the East South Central region and 0.5 percent in the Middle Atlantic from January 2007 to January 2008.

From December 2007 to January 2008 the index rose 0.1 percent in the Mountain region while falling in all of the other regions. New England led the regions with a 1.5 percent monthly decline.

Miami and Las Vegas had the steepest year-over-year drop in home prices in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, which is based on price data from repeat sales of single-family homes over times.

Phoenix was next on the list with an 18.2 percent decline, and 10 of 20 cities in the index experienced a double-digit percentage drop in index value in January 2008 compared to January 2007.

Sixteen of the 20 metro areas had record-low annual growth rates, while 13 metro areas had record monthly declines.

Charlotte, N.C., which had a 1.8 percent year-over-year gain in index value, was the only metro area with a value rise during that period.

The monthly index value dropped in all 20 metro areas from December 2007 to January 2008. The Las Vegas metro area had the steepest drop from December 2007 to January 2008, falling 5.1 percent. Next on the list was Phoenix with a 4.1 percent drop. Charlotte had the slightest monthly decline at 0.2 percent, followed by New York with 0.9 percent.

"Unfortunately, it does not look like early 2008 is marking any turnaround in the housing market, after the declining year recorded throughout 2007," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee.

"Home prices continue to fall, decelerate and reach record lows across the nation."

S&P/Case-Shiller January home-price index

Metropolitan Area Jan. ’07-
Jan. ’08 change
Atlanta -4.8%
Boston -3.4%
Charlotte 1.8%
Chicago -6.6%
Cleveland -8.5%
Dallas -3.3%
Denver -5.1%
Detroit -15.1%
Las Vegas -19.3%
Los Angeles -16.5%
Miami -19.3%
Minneapolis -10.0%
New York -5.8%
Phoenix -18.2%
Portland -0.5%
San Diego -16.7%
San Francisco -13.2%
Seattle -1.3%
Tampa -15.0%
Washington -10.9%
Composite-20 (20 metro
areas combined)
-10.7%

Source: S&P/Case-Shiller

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