US home prices drop at record levels

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

According to data released on Tuesday, home prices in the United States plunged at the highest rates ever recorded in January.

The S&P/Case Shiller index of home prices in twenty major cities in the US announced that values of homes have slumped over 30% since their peak in 2006 across the country. Regional variations have resulted in larger losses in states such as Nevada and Florida. In the year to this January, prices fell by 19%.

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

Consumer sentiment also slumped, with the Conference Board's index of confidence rising only slightly from last month's all-time low, reaching 26.0.

"Job conditions are terrible. There is a general sense of uncertainty because people are peppered with bad news around the world," said Brian Bethune, an economist for IHS Global Insight.


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