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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The housing market started the new year with a thud. Home prices dropped for the fifth consecutive month in January, reaching their lowest point since the end of 2002.
The average home sold in that month lost 0.8% of its value, compared with a month earlier, and prices were down 3.8% from 12 months earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major markets.
Home prices have fallen a whopping 34.4% from the peak set in July 2006. ....
"February's numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed," said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac.