Home prices have fallen by 2.4 percent in most major U.S. cities.
Prices in the majority of metro areas are at their lowest since the housing bubble burst, and it's a trend that's expected to continue for at least six months, according to the S&P-Case-Shiller price index.
Home prices are still declining amid excess supply," Michelle Meyer, a senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research in New York, told Bloomberg. "Although transactions have started to pickup, buyers are looking for very low prices. There is a backlog of distressed properties and it will flow into the market this year. We expect to see a gradual drop in prices."
A rise in the number of foreclosures is partly to blame. Stricter lending rules, high unemployment and worry that prices will continue to fall are other factors.
A report Tuesday from the Conference Board showed that confidence among U.S. consumers increased in February to the level in three years as more Americans thought their incomes and the economy would grow.
Out of the 20 cities being tracked for the index, Washington D.C., is the only metro area where home prices are on the rise. The U.S. capital showed prices rising 4.1 percent in the 12 months to December.