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Seattle home prices down 15 percent from last year

Post by Kelly Kearsley on March 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
March 31, 2009 1:25 pm

Seattle-area home prices were down 15 percent in January compared to the same month a year ago, according to data released today.

At the same time national home prices sank by the sharpest annual rate on record, and the pace continues to accelerate. There were a handful of battered metro areas where price declines slowed, The Associated Press reports.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by a record 19 percent from January 2008. It was the largest decline since the index started in 2000. The 10-city index dropped 19.4 percent, also a new record.

All 20 cities in the report showed monthly and annual price declines, with 13 posting new annual records. Prices dropped by more than 10 percent in 14 cities.

“There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data,” David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said in a prepared statement. “Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path.”

In the Cleveland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. metro areas — all ravaged by foreclosures — annual price declines eased somewhat. Meanwhile, six cities, including Seattle, Charlotte, Minneapolis and New York, showed smaller price declines in January compared with December.

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