New York: Prices of single-family homes in the 20 largest US metropolitan areas fell 3.5 percent in February from a year earlier, leaving the national averages at their lowest level since early 2003, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
Both the 10-City and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices slipped by 0.8 percent between January and February, show the indices released Tuesday by Standard and Poor's.
Inter-annual price declines eased from 4.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, in January, to 3.6 percent and 3.5 percent in February.
"While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, said in a news release.
Nine cities - Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa - saw home prices fall to their lowest level since before the housing bubble burst in 2007.
Home prices in Atlanta plunged 17.3 percent over the 12 months ending Feb 29.
US home prices have plunged 35 percent from their level at the peak of the housing boom in mid-2006, Case-Shiller's data shows.