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At the end of July, home prices in San Diego County had fallen 31 percent since the November 2005 peak, according to the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released this morning. The aggregate index experienced a 25 percent drop from the previous July.

The declines show up strongest among houses priced below $354,157. In that category, the lowest of the index’s three tiers, prices have fallen 34 percent year-over-year and 41 percent from that tier’s peak in June 2006.

The middle tier — homes priced between $354,157 and $518,796 — saw a 24 percent drop from July 2007 and a 32 percent drop from the peak in November 2005.

And the highest tier, homes priced higher than $518,796, slumped 17 percent year-over-year and 21 percent from that tier’s peak in June 2006.

San Diego’s 25 percent drop from July 2007 to July 2008 came fifth among the 20 metro areas counted in the Case-Shiller index. Ahead of San Diego were Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Los Angeles, with annual declines between 26 percent and 30 percent each.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Standard & Poor’s Index Committee, said the rate of decline is slowing some across the metro areas, but that there is “no evidence of a bottom.”

More from his statement:

The Sunbelt continues to be the story, with the seven cities that basically represent that area reporting annual declines roughly between 20 and 30%. While some cities did show some marginal improvement over last month’s data, there is still very little evidence of any particular region experiencing an absolute turnaround.

We’ll have more on these numbers for you later today.

KELLY BENNETT

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