US house prices 'in record fall'

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More than one million homes have been foreclosed on
since the subprime crisis began [GALLO/GETTY] 

House prices in the 20 largest US cities have fallen by a record 19 per cent in January from a year ago, according to a private survey.

A separate index of home prices in the 10 largest metropolitan areas also posted a record decline, of 19.4 per cent since January 2008, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey said on Tuesday.

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

The three worst-hit cities were the former flourishing towns of Phoenix, Arizona, where prices fell by 35 per cent; Las Vegas (down 32.5 per cent) and San Francisco (down 32.4 per cent).

Dallas, Denver and Cleveland showed the smallest declines of around five per cent in January compared to the same period last year, the survey said.

House prices in the 20-city index have plummeted 29 per cent from their peak in summer 2006, while the 10-city index has fallen by 30 per cent.

Continuing decline

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