U.S. home prices fell for the sixth straight month in January as negative equity limited the mobility of homeowners, and weak demand and an overhang of shadow inventory continued to pressure home prices, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.

A home-price index compiled by CoreLogic showed national home prices down 5.7 percent from a year ago — an even steeper decline than the 4.7 percent year-over-year drop seen in December.

January’s decline brought the drop in home prices from their April 2006 peak to 32.8 percent, CoreLogic said.

U.S. home prices fell for the sixth straight month in January as negative equity limited the mobility of homeowners, and weak demand and an overhang of shadow inventory continued to pressure home prices, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.

A home-price index compiled by CoreLogic showed national home prices down 5.7 percent from a year ago — an even steeper decline than the 4.7 percent year-over-year drop seen in December.

January’s decline brought the drop in home prices from their April 2006 peak to 32.8 percent, CoreLogic said.

When distressed sales are excluded from the index, however, the index showed home prices declining by 1.6 percent in January and 3.2 percent in December, to 22.2 percent below peak.

The five states with the greatest depreciation were Idaho (-15.7 percent), Alabama (-12.1 percent), Arizona (-11 percent), Oregon (-9.9 percent) and Utah (-9.8 percent).

The five states with the highest appreciation were West Virginia (5.5 percent), North Dakota (3.3 percent), New York (1.9 percent), Hawaii (0.7 percent) and Wyoming (0.2 percent).

CoreLogic home price index

Market

Change from year ago

Excluding distressed

Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.

-10.5%

            -5%

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.

-7.9%

-3.7%

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.

-5.7%

-3.9%

L.A.-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.

-4.1%

-0.9%

Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria

-3.5%

1.2%

Philadelphia, Pa.

-2.8%

-1.1%

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

-1.6%

0.2%

Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas

-0.6%

2%

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas

0.3%

0.8%

New York-White Plains-Wayne

2.1%

3.3%

Source: CoreLogic

In another report released this week, CoreLogic estimated that 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of fourth-quarter 2010. That’s up from 10.8 million, or 22.5 percent, in the third quarter.

Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage with 65 percent of all of its mortgaged properties underwater, followed by Arizona (51 percent), Florida (47 percent), Michigan (36 percent) and California (32 percent).

CoreLogic said the consensus among analysts is that home prices will fall another 5 percent to 10 percent in 2011. That would imply that negative equity will rise no more than 10 percentage points, and probably less because foreclosures are removing negative equity borrowers, CoreLogic said.

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