July 28, 2009

Home price declines slowing, report says

A closely-watched home price index covering 20 U.S. cities dropped in May, but shows the rate of price declines has slowed, the survey said.

The S&P/Case-Shiller survey released Tuesday said rate of decline in the 20-city composite index improved for the fourth consecutive month.

Prices dropped 17.1 percent in May compared to a year ago. In April, prices had declined 18.1 percent compared to April 2008.

In May, 13 of the 20 cities surveyed showed price increases. To put it in perspective, these are the first time we have seen broad increases in home prices in 34 months, said David Blitzer, Chairman of the Standard & Poor's Index Committee.

While, Blitzer said the numbers could be an indication that home prices declines are finally stabilizing, he also said, we likely do have a way to go before we see sustained home price appreciation.

Two cities, Dallas and Denver, have shown price increases for three consecutive months, while prices in May rose more than 1 percent compared to April in eight of the 13 cities where prices rose, the report said.