Home prices post 18.6 percent annual drop in Feb.

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Home prices drop - Home prices dropped in February, but for the first time in 16 months the fall was not a record.

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NEW YORK - A widely watched housing index shows home prices dropped in February, but for the first time in 16 months the decline was not a record.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities released Tuesday dropped by 18.6 percent from February 2008, slightly better than the 19 percent in January. The 10-city index slid 18.8 percent, compared to 19.4 percent the month before.

But the good news was mixed. All 20 cities in the report showed monthly and annual price declines, and half recorded annual records. Prices fell by more than 10 percent in 15 cities.

Prices in the 20-city index have plunged 30.7 percent from their peak in the summer of 2006, and the 10-city index has lost more than 31.6 percent.

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