NEW YORK CITY-Home prices are continuing to tumble downward despite some slight glimmers of hope in major metropolitan areas, according to January figures released by S&P Case-Shiller on Tuesday morning. Pricing for 20 US cities declined by 0.8% from December 2011, sliding back to the levels where they were nearly a decade ago in early 2003.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, says that eight cities – including Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, Seattle and Tampa – have hit new lows, and only Washington, DC, Phoenix and Miami have shown improvements. S&P’s 10-city composite was down 3.9% and the 20-city was 3.8% compared to January 2011. With the new lows, both are now 34.4% off their relative 2006 peaks.

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