Associated Press
February 26, 2008

NEW YORK – U.S. home prices dropped 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2007 compared with a year ago, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday, the steepest decline in the 20-year history of its housing index.

“We reached a somber year-end for the housing market in 2007,” said one of the index’s creators Robert Shiller. “Home prices across the nation and in most metro areas are significantly lower than where they were a year ago. Wherever you look, things look bleak.”

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices, which include a quarterly index, a 20-city index and a 10-city index, reflect year-over-year declines in 17 metropolitan areas with double-digit declines in eight of them.

The 10-city index also set a record annual decline of 9.8 percent in December, while the 20-city index dropped 9.1 percent.

Home prices also plunged 5.4 percent from the previous three-month period, by far the largest quarter-to-quarter decline in the index’s history. The previous record was the revised 1.8 percent drop in the third quarter of 2007.

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