Home prices fell in December in most US cities

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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 Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices dropped in December from November in 18 of the 20 cities tracked. The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Miami and Phoenix were the only cities to show an increase.

The declines partly reflect the typical slowdown that comes in the fall and winter.

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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 have fallen 34 percent nationwide since the housing bust, to 2002 levels.