Home prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index found a drop in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.
"The biggest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase.
"The decline partly reflects the typical fall slowdown after the peak buying season.
"Still, prices declined in 18 of the 20 cities in November compared to the same month in 2010. Only Washington and Detroit posted year-over-year increases. And prices have fallen 33 percent nationwide since the housing bust, to 2003 levels."
Bloomberg tries to get a handle on what this means:
"Another wave of foreclosures threatens to keep the pressure on prices and delay recovery in the industry that precipitated the last recession, underscoring the Federal Reserve's view that housing 'remains depressed.' More stability in real-estate values may be needed to persuade Americans to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.
"'There has been no change in the way households perceive selling conditions — the majority of them think it's a bad time to sell their homes,' Jonathan Basile, a U.S. economist at Credit Suisse in New York, said before the report. 'It's going to require higher sales numbers and much better housing fundamentals to turn around the notion that the biggest asset for households is no longer expected to go down.'"