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NEWS: US Home prices below 2002 prices

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The graph tells the story:

caseshillernewlows.png

Home-price index falls to lowest point since 2002

By DEREK KRAVITZ, AP Real Estate Writer – Tue May 31, 3:07 pm ET

WASHINGTON – An index of home prices in big metro areas has reached its lowest level since 2002, driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes and the reluctance or inability of many to buy.

Prices fell from February to March in 18 of the metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index. And prices in a dozen markets have reached their lowest points since the housing bubble burst in late 2006.

The nationwide index fell for the eighth straight month. Prices have now fallen further since the bubble burst than they did during the Great Depression. It took 19 years for the housing market to regain its losses after the Depression ended.

Prices rose last summer, fueled by a temporary federal home-buying tax credit. But they've plunged since then. This month's report marked a "double dip in home prices across much of the nation," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's.

After adjusting for inflation, the home-price index has sunk to a level not seen since 1999.

More: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110531/ap_on_bi_ge/us_home_prices

The Case-Shiller Index:

http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/sp-case-shiller-home-price-indices/en/us/?indexId=spusa-cashpidff--p-us----

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