U.S. home prices drop for a 7th straight month

National home prices were also down 5.5% in January 2011 from January 2010.

But much of the latest decline resulted from the surging number of foreclosures in the country. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices were down just. 0.1% in February 2011 compared to a year earlier.

“When you remove distressed properties from the equation, we’re seeing a significantly reduced pace of depreciation and greater stability in many markets,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

Including distressed sales, some states still appreciated in property price, however, led by West Virginia and New York at 5.4% and 4.7% respectively.

Idaho dropped the most when distressed sales were included, down 14.6%, followed by Arizona at 12% and Florida at 11.2%.

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