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Home prices fell by record 19.1 percent in first quarter

May 26, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) -- A widely watched index shows home prices fell at the sharpest rate ever in the first quarter.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller National Home Price index released Tuesday reported home prices tumbled by 19.1 percent in the first quarter, the most in its 21-year history.

Home prices have fallen 32.2 percent since peaking in the second quarter of 2006 and are at levels not seen since the end of 2002.

The 20-city index fell by 18.7 percent in March from the year before and the 10-city index lost 18.6 percent. But the rate of decline for both indexes slowed for the second month in a row.

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