Metro areas post small decline in home prices

Prices for homes fell 0.7 percent in January.
Prices for homes fell 0.7 percent in January.
Home prices may have shown further signs of stability, which could come as positive news for those who use construction equipment.

According to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a composite of 20 metropolitan areas saw home prices decline 0.4 percent from December to January. On a year-to-year basis, prices during the first month of the year for these 20 cities were down 0.7 percent.

"The report is mixed. While we continue to see improvements in the year-over-year data for all 20 cities, the rebound in housing prices seen last fall is fading," said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P's Index Committee.

Other reports released earlier in the month show that the housing market continues to see varied results. The government said that sales of new single-family homes dropped 2.2 percent from January to February.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes declined from an annual rate of 5.05 million to 5.02 million during the second month of the year.

This comes as the market prepares for the end of a tax credit that was created to help spur home sales. First-time homebuyers were eligible for up to $8,000, while repeat purchasers could get $6,500.