Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

20-city price index plummets 18.6%

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A monthly home-price index recorded unprecedented year-over-year drops in the price of resale single-family homes in February 2009 compared to the same month a year earlier in 10 of 20 market areas, with 15 markets showing double-digit percentage declines. The composite index for the 20 metro areas, down 18.6 percent year-over-year in February, did not set a new record -- breaking a string of 16 record-setting months. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-metro area price index, which compares repeat sales over time for thousands of U.S. homes, found a 35.2 percent year-over-year decline in the Phoenix, Ariz., market in February -- the steepest index drop among the 20 tracked areas. Next on the list was Las Vegas (-31.7 percent), San Francisco (-31 percent), and Miami, (-29.5 percent). The slightest year-over-year index declines were in Dallas (-4.5 percent), Denver (-5.7 percent), and Boston (-7.2 percent). The largest price drop from January 2009 to February 2009 was i...