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Standard & Poor's: Housing recession not yet over

The housing market is off to a rough start, according to Standard & Poor's officials.

The housing market is off to a rough start, according to Standard & Poor's officials.

Just when the housing market looked like it may have been moving forward, a new survey finds it may still be in retreat.

According to data released from Standard & Poor's regarding home prices in the month of January, 13 of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas tracked showed declines in property values, falling by an average of 3.1 percent when compared to January 2010.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said the data confirms that the housing market is still in a slump.

"The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery," Blitzer said. "At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing."

Blitzer noted that in many markets - such as Cleveland, Detroit and Las Vegas - home prices are below their January 2000 levels.

The only market that showed signs of life was Washington, D.C., as it posted a 3.6 percent annual rate of growth in January. February was also a good month for the D.C. area, as pending home sales increased 33 percent year-over-year, according to a report by RealEstate Business Intelligence.