Home prices are a closely-watched indicator for the housing market. In fact, economists agree that a significant turnaround in housing won't happen unless prices show signs of increasing once again. According to the Case-Schiller Index, home prices declined an average of 14.4% during March 2008 and they fell in almost every major metropolitan area across the nation. The one exception was Charlotte, NC, where prices rose over the year -- although the increase was a very modest 0.8%. Other than Charlotte, the metros where home prices fared the best in early 2008 include Dallas, Portland, Seattle, Denver and Boston. In March, the sharpest price declines came from Las Vegas (25.9%), Miami (24.6%), Phoenix (23.0%), Los Angeles (21.7%), San Diego (20.5%), and San Francisco (20.2%). The furniture industry can't expect much forward momentum from these areas until well into 2009, or even 2010.
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