Latest drop in U.S. housing prices leaves 'no real hope in sight'

Prices had made a slight recovery from a low in 2009, but have sunk back down again in January that same bottom level since a 2007 peak.

The 20-city composite index was down 3.1% in January from the year before. San Diego and Washington D.C. were the only cities to positive year-over-year changes, up 0.1% and 3.6% respectively.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the U.S. fell to a three-month low in March, according to the U.S. Conference Board’s consumer index.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Standard & Poor’s Index Committee, said there was “no real hope in the sight for the near future.”

“These data confirm what we have seen with recent housing starts and sales reports,” he said. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery.”

In January, Atlanta joined Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas as the markets where average home prices are now below their January 2000 levels.

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