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Primitivo Balderas took a measurement at a home he was helping to frame in Collierville, Tenn., on Tuesday.

Mike Brown, Associated Press

Area single-family home sales dip again

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA
  • Star Tribune
  • March 27, 2012 - 7:52 PM

Twin Cities home prices declined in January, hitting lows not seen since 2003, according to a report released Tuesday.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index, which tracks repeat sales of the same houses, showed prices in the metro area were down 1.8 percent in January versus the same month in 2011. Compared with the previous month, prices dropped 0.8 percent. Prices also fell across the country.

Case-Shiller uses a 10- and 20-city composite to track prices. By both measures, eight cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa -- fell to new lows. The 10-city composite was down 3.9 percent and the 20-city was down 3.8 percent compared with January 2011.

David Blitzer, chair of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, lamented the declines in light of recent job gains.

"Despite some positive economic signs, home prices continued to drop," he said.

The index only includes single-family houses. A more comprehensive report, which includes all home sales that closed during February, including foreclosures and short sales, shows that price declines in the Twin Cities are beginning to narrow. Data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors indicate that during February the median sale price of all homes which closed during the month was down 1.4 percent.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

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