The price per square foot of homes fell in all of the 25 U.S. metro areas tracked in December compared to the same month last year, with the most extreme declines in Phoenix and San Francisco.

The metro areas included in the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report index, prepared by real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic Inc., dropped a collective 22 percent in December 2008 compared to December 2007.

The price per square foot of homes fell in all of the 25 U.S. metro areas tracked in December compared to the same month last year, with the most extreme declines in the Phoenix and San Francisco metro areas.

The metro areas included in the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report index, prepared by real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic Inc., dropped a collective 22 percent in December 2008 compared to December 2007.

Phoenix had the highest year-over-year price decline in December (-35.9 percent), following by San Francisco (-35.1 percent), Las Vegas (-31.9 percent), San Jose (-30.2 percent) and Sacramento (-27.4 percent).

Philadelphia had the slightest year-over-year slide (-2.2 percent) among the metro areas listed, followed by Columbus, Ohio (-3.8 percent), St. Louis, Mo. (-5.8 percent), Milwaukee (-5.9 percent), and Cleveland (-8.1 percent).

Milwaukee saw the greatest monthly slide from November 2008 to December 2008 (-7.8 percent), followed by Chicago (-5.4 percent), Minneapolis and San Francisco (-4.7 percent), and Seattle (-4.5 percent).

The only cities with a month-to-month increase in the price-per-square-foot index in December: St Louis (2.1 percent) and Denver (1.2 percent). Columbus broke even while San Diego (-0.4 percent) and Tampa (-0.7 percent) had the slightest drops.

Radar Logic reported that improvements in home affordability and low mortgage rates contributed to year-over-year transaction-count increases in 14 of the 25 metro areas tracked in December 2008 compared to the same month in the previous year.

That compares to an overall 40 percent decline in transaction count in December 2007 compared to the prior year. The company’s transaction counts, which are used to calculate the price-per-square-foot index, do not necessarily reflect total transaction volume in each market area.

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