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Home prices fell 0.3 percent at the end of 2010

Home prices in the U.S. fell 3.9 percent last year.

Home prices in the U.S. fell 3.9 percent last year.

If it wasn't already apparent, the latest report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency is making it abundantly clear that 2010 was a down year for house prices.

According to the FHFA's monthly House Price Index, U.S. house prices dropped 0.3 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from December to January. That means that for the 12 months ending in January, home prices across the U.S. fell by 3.9 percent.

Compared to 2007, which economists say was the height of the housing boom, prices fell 16.5 percent.

Home values didn't fluctuate too much across the country, as the FHFA reports prices fell by as much as 1.3 percent in some regions and rose as high as 1.6 percent in others over the entire year.

The FHFA calculates its House Price Index based on the purchase price of mortgages sold to guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

While most real estate agencies and studies confirm that 2010 was a down year for home prices and people who were moving, several surveys indicate home values will stabilize in 2011, creating a better homebuying climate.