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L.A. home prices down 21.7% in last year

May 27, 2008 |  6:36 am

Captd9010b037d8d42ffb456f4d40bf1a4bThe latest Case-Shiller report on home prices shows Los Angeles prices fell by 21.7% over the last year and were falling at an even faster rate this spring.

Nationally, Case-Shiller shows prices falling by 14.4% in 20 large American cities (see note below), by far the steepest rate of decline in the 20-year history of the index.

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

The Case-Shiller report, which analyzes repeat sales of the same homes in large U.S. cities, shows the housing slump continues to be most pronounced in large western cities. The five biggest annual declines in price in March:

Las Vegas   down 25.9%
Miami        down 24.6%
Phoenix     down 23.0%
Los Angeles down 21.7%
San Diego    down 20.5%

Los Angeles continues to show accelerating annual price declines, although the month-to-month decline did slow a bit -- from 4.3% in the January-to-February period to 3.6% in the February-to-March period.  Still, the 3.6% decline in the most recent monthly period makes Los Angeles the third-weakest housing market in the nation by that measure, with only Miami (-4.5%) and Las Vegas (-4.4%) losing more value.

Note on "20 large cities": An earlier version of this post reported, incorrectly, that the Case-Shiller index tracks home prices in the "20 largest cities." It does not, as Bruce Webb points out in his comment below. It tracks home prices in 20 cities, but they are not the largest in America.

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Photo Credit: Associated Press