Yet another survey has zeroed in on the continuing decline in real estate prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, released this morning, found prices in July posted the steepest drop in 16 years, some 4.5 percent for its 10-city index. In addition, prices have fallen by more every month since the beginning of the year. The 20-city composite, which includes Dallas, was down 3.9 percent.

That’s the bad news. The good news, according to the survey, is that five metro areas, including Dallas, are still registering positive annual returns. Ours is 0.8 percent over July 2006. But Atlanta and Dallas are getting closer to joining 15 other metro areas in registering a year-over-year decline in home prices. The biggest loser? Detroit, which is down almost 10 percent from a year ago. Miami lost 1.7 percent between June and July, while New York City — yes, New York City — lost 1.0 percent.

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