Good news in Dallas-Fort Worth: home prices slumped least

Home prices in Dallas-Fort Worth in February were down 4.5 percent from a year earlier, the lowest decline among the 20 major U.S. cities surveyed, where prices fell an average of 18.6 percent, a Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller report finds.

The February figures, the latest that have been released, also show that home prices in D-FW declined 0.3 percent from the previous month, compared with January’s 2.5 percent decline, according to the report. The months-long slide in home prices nationally also moderated, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday.

"While the declines in residential real estate continued into February, we witnessed some deceleration in the rate of decline in some of the markets," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in the report. "We will certainly need a few more months of data before we can determine if home prices are finally turning around."

As of February, prices in the 20 big markets have returned to levels seen in the third quarter of 2003, and are down 30.7 percent from the peak in mid-2006, the report says.

The three hardest-hit cities in the past year were Phoenix, down 35.2 percent; Las Vegas, down 31.7 percent; and San Francisco, down 31 percent.

The best performers in the past year, after D-FW, were Denver, down 5.7 percent; and Boston, down 7.2 percent.