April 4, 2012 | last updated April 19, 2012 2:09 pm

U.S. Home Prices Decline At Slower Rate

Home prices fell in February compared to the same month a year ago, but the decline is happening at a slower pace, according to California-based CoreLogic.

Excluding distressed sales (short sales and real estate owned transactions), prices fell 0.8 percent year over year. Including distressed sales, prices fell 2 percent.

Prices improved from January to February by 0.7 percent excluding distressed sales and 0.8 percent including them. It was the seventh consecutive monthly decline in sales prices.

"House prices, based on data through February, continue to decline, but at a decreasing rate," said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist. "The deceleration in the pace of decline is a first step toward ultimately growing again."

The firm said increased sales activity and tightening inventories are good signs that prices will stabilize in the coming months.

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