The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices continued dropping into record territory in August, with the 10-City Composite falling 17.7% and the 20-City 16.6%, S&P reported Tuesday morning.

S&P noted that the acceleration in rate of decline continued to moderate in August, with the twin indices down only slightly from their July levels of 17.5% and 16.3%, respectively, in July, compared with the same month a year ago.

"The downturn in residential real estate prices continued, with very few bright spots in the data," said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor¹s. "Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites have been in year-over-year decline for 20 consecutive months. Of the 20 regions, 13 of them had their annual returns worsen from last month¹s report. "

As seen throughout 2008, the Sun Belt markets are being hit the most.Phoenix and Las Vegas are both reporting annual declines in excess of 30%, and Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are all in excess of 25%."

Nine of the 20 regions posted record annual declines, with the Sunbelt markets taking the biggest hit.

Year-over-year, Phoenix and Las Vegas are down 30.7% and -30.6% versus August 2007, respectively. Los Angeles is down 26.7%, San Francisco down 27.3% and San Diego down 25.8%. San Francisco led all markets in month-to-month declines with a drop of 3.5% from July, with Phoenix following with a 2.9% drop, Las Vegas with a 2.4% decline and San Diego with a 2.3% loss.

Miami and Tampa, the two Florida markets, are down 28.1% and 18.1%, respectively, year over year, and month-to-month, they fell 1.8% and 0.4% respectively.

Month-to-month, only two regions, Cleveland and Boston, had positive returns, with Cleveland up 1.1% and Boston up slightly at 0.1%. Boston has had positive monthly returns for each of the past five months. Dallas and Denver¹s streaks of four straight positive returning months ended in August.

From August 2007 to August 2008, Dallas and Charlotte have the best relative performance. Dallas is down 2.7% over the year and Charlotte is down 2.8%.

The indices are based on a value of 100 based on home prices in January, 2000. Only Detroit has fallen below that level; it was off 0.8% from July to August and its index stands at 92.44. Cleveland is at 110.54. Atlanta and Dallas are both under 125. Several markets in which the index had surpassed 200 during the housing boom are now back down below that threshold, with Washington D.C. at 194.86, New York at 192.84 and Los Angeles at 189.18.