PRICES DOWN: Home prices fell in December from November in 18 of the 20 major U.S. cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. It was the fourth straight month of declines.
LONG TREND: Prices in four U.S. cities _ Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa _ have now dropped to their lowest points since the housing crisis began. Nationwide, prices have fallen 34 percent since the housing bust and are now back to 2002 levels.
SOME HOPE: There's hope among some economists that modest increases in sales over the past few months could stop prices from falling by late winter or early spring.