Fourth quarter sees 2.5 percent drop in home prices

Home prices dropped at the end of last year.
Home prices dropped at the end of last year.
Recent data shows that the price of homes continues to drop, though at a reduced rate.

According to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Schiller Home Price Indices, the country saw a 2.5 percent drop in home prices during the fourth quarter of 2009 when compared to the same time a year before. Though prices did drop, their rate of decline was lower than seen in previous quarters.

For example, the third quarter of 2009 saw home prices fall 8.7 percent, while the first quarter saw a decline of 19 percent.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, said that the slower decline is an indication that the housing market is in a better state than a year ago.

"However, the rate of improvement seen during the summer of 2009 has not been sustained," Blitzer said.

Recent numbers from the National Association of Home Builders shows that confidence among those that use construction equipment in the field improved in February. The NAHB index for builder confidence went up two points in February, an increase that was tied to low interest rates and home prices.