U.S. home prices fell for the fifth month in a row in January to the lowest level since early 2003, according to a closely followed index.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index dropped 0.8% in the first month of 2012. The three-month rolling index includes transactions that took place from November to January.


Over the past 12 months, prices have fallen 3.8% even though the U.S. economy has shown increasing signs of recovery. Sixteen of the 20 metropolitan areas posted declines, while only Miami, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., saw increases.

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