WASHINGTON — Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices.
The declines partly reflect the typical slowdown that comes in the fall and winter.
Still, prices fell in 19 of the 20 cities in December compared to the same month in 2010. Only Detroit posted a year-over-year increase. Prices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa dropped to their lowest points since the housing crisis began.
“The pick-up in the economy has simply not been strong enough to keep home prices stabilized,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. “If anything, it looks like we might have re-entered a period of decline as we begin 2012.”