Falling Twin Cities Home Prices Outpace U.S.

A leading analyst warns that the declining home prices may portend the feared "double-dip recession."

January home prices from across the country paint a dismal picture-and the Twin Cities saw the biggest decline from December prices, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey released on Tuesday.

Home prices for the 20 metro areas measured fell 1 percent from December to January and 3.1 percent compared to January 2010.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area fared the worst, with its price index plummeting 3.4 percent from December and a staggering 7.6 percent from the previous year.

The index, which lags two months, uses a base value of 100 from January 2000 to measure home-appreciation value since that time. The Twin Cities index in January was 113.21-meaning that area home prices have appreciated about 13 percent since January 2000.

“Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing.”

Only Washington, D.C., saw an increase in prices from December to January-and it was a mere 0.1 percent uptick.

San Diego and Washington, D.C., were the only two markets to experience a year-over-year increase-reporting 0.1 percent and 3.6 percent increases, respectively.

The home price indices are released monthly and are designed to track the prices of typical single-family homes located in 20 major metropolitan areas throughout the country.