Home prices down for the sixth month in a row

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Home prices dropped in February in most major U.S. cities for a sixth straight month, a sign that modest sales gains haven't been enough to boost prices.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index shows that prices dropped in February from January in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks.

The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Cleveland. Prices rose in Phoenix, San Diego and Miami. They were unchanged in Dallas.

The declines partly reflect typical off season sales. The month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal factors.

Still, prices fell in 15 of the 20 cities in February compared with the same month in 2011. That indicates that the housing market remains far from healthy despite the best winter for sales in five years.


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