Home prices dipped 10.2 percent in February for the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, according to a widely watched index measuring home prices.
The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index found there have been continued declines since February last year, as the economy tanked, financial institutions crumbled and Wall Street shed thousands of jobs.
Home prices also continued to slide in 20 major metropolitan cities, dropping by 18.6 percent, but for the first time in two years, the declines did not set a record.
The dropping real estate prices may be slowing, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's.
"While the declines in residential real estate continued into February, we witnessed some deceleration in the rate of decline in some of the markets," Blitzer said.
The three worst-performing areas in the nation continued to center in the Sunbelt: Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Phoenix saw the steepest decline, down by 50.8 percent from its peak in June 2006.