U.S. home prices fell for the seventh month in a row during February, although price declines are increasingly concentrated in sales of distressed properties such as bank-owned homes, data aggregator CoreLogic said in releasing its home price index.

The CoreLogic home price index showed U.S. home prices down 6.7 percent from a year ago during February, a sharper decline than the 5.5 percent year-over-year drop registered in January.

Excluding distressed sales, the index was essentially flat, declining by 0.1 percent from a year ago compared to 1.4 percent in January. Distressed sales include short sales and real-estate owned, or “REO,” properties.

“When you remove distressed properties from the equation, we’re seeing a significantly reduced pace of depreciation and greater stability in many markets,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming in a statement. “Price declines are increasingly isolated to the distressed segment of the market, mostly in the form of REO sales, as the stock of foreclosures is slowly cleared.”

The index showed national home prices down 34.5 percent from their April 2006 peak, or 21.7 percent if distressed transactions were excluded.

Prices were down from a year ago in 86 of the top 100 markets tracked by CoreLogic, down from 88 in January.

February 2011 single-family home prices: Top 10 biggest U.S. markets


Market Change from year ago Excluding distressed
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.



Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.



Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.



Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.



Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas



Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.



Philadelphia, Pa.



Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V.



Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas



New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.



Source: CoreLogic

Nine out of 10 of the nation’s biggest markets saw prices decline from a year ago, although six out of 10 of those markets experienced price appreciation among non-distressed properties, CoreLogic said.

The five states with the greatest year-over-year depreciation were Idaho (-14.6 percent), Arizona (-12 percent), Florida (-11.2 percent), Michigan (-11.1 percent) and Illinois (-11.1 percent). When distressed sales are excluded, the five states with the greatest depreciation were Idaho (-9.3 percent), Montana (-8.6 percent), Maine (-6.2 percent), Arizona (-5.4 percent) and Rhode Island (-5.4 percent).

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