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Home prices at new lows for downturn

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A national home-price index that captures about 75 percent of U.S. properties in all nine Census divisions showed home prices falling 2 percent during the first quarter to a new post-crisis low.The S&P/Case-Shiller National Composite is down 35.1 percent from its second-quarter 2006 peak, Standard & Poor's reported today. Two other S&P Case-Shiller indexes, the 10- and 20-city composites, are also at new lows for the housing downturn, although both were little changed from February to March. Seven of 20 metros covered by the 20-city composite saw price declines from February to March, compared with 16 in last month's report. Five -- Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Portland -- are at new lows for the downturn."While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, in a statement.Blitzer noted some improvement from last month's report, when nine metros hi...