Home Prices Rose in All Major U.S. Cities in May

Real Estate
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

WASHINGTON -- Home prices rose in May from April in every city tracked by a leading index, a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday showed increases in all of the 20 cities tracked. And a measure of national prices rose 2.2 percent from April to May, the second increase after seven months of flat or declining readings.

Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco posted the biggest monthly increases. Detroit, San Diego and Charlotte posted the smallest gains.

The increases partly reflect the impact of seasonal buying. The month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal factors.

In the past year, the 20-city price index has dropped 0.7 percent, the smallest decline since September 2010. That's much lower than the 1.8 percent year-over-year decline in April.

David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P's index committee, cautioned that the trend would need to continue into the summer and fall to ensure that it isn't just a reflection of strong springtime and early summer sales.

"The housing market seems to be stabilizing, but we are definitely in wait and see mode for the next few months," he said.

The S&P/Case-Shiller monthly index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The May figures are the latest available.

The housing market is recovering, but at a slow and uneven pace. Sales of new homes fell in June after reaching a two-year high in May. Sales of previously occupied homes also fell last month, but were higher than a year ago.

Builders are getting more confident, partly because they are seeing more interest from potential buyers. Builders broke ground in June on the most new homes and apartments in four years.

Even with the gains, the index is 33 percent below its peak reached in the summer of 2006, at the height of the housing boom. Based on the 20-city index, home prices are now at about the same level as in early 2003.

The supply of homes for sale remains very low, which has helped stabilize prices. At the current sales pace, it would take six and a half months to exhaust the supply of previously-occupied homes. That's just above the six months economists consider healthy.

There were 144,000 new homes for sale in June, only slightly higher than the 143,000 in May, which was the lowest supply on records dating back to 1963.

Despite the modest gains in housing, the broader economy has weakened in recent months. Employers have added an average of only 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter. That's much lower than the average of 226,000 added in the first three months of this year.

Housing added to economic growth in the second quarter, but the sector isn't large enough to make a big difference. The economy expanded at only a 1.5 percent annual rate in April-June, below the first quarter's 2 percent pace. Both readings are much lower than the fourth quarter's 4.1 percent growth.

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pocollins

"Even with the gains, the index is 33 percent below its peak reached in the summer of 2006, at the height of the housing boom."

Love it when Huff Post tries to put a happy spin on anything that is truly BS, a .07 % rise in home prices is BS, Unfortunately for me, I am not underwater because I invested a lot of my money in the downpayment on my home then actually used a home equity loan to renevate and improve my home's value - silly me. Nothing better than watching my home's value plummet overnight, my 401K suddenly become a 201K overnight, banks getting bailed out and nary a soul being held accountable. More foreclosures are coming as the banks catch up after their latest scandal (robosigning) with a slap on the hand $25 Billion fine. Its enough to make you just give up.

August 02 2012 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pocollins's comment
esword2020

ow wow are you smart,maybe ur right just give up

September 04 2012 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
craigmrfrn

YES! Go Obama!

August 02 2012 at 9:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
boxigg

AND THE FORCLOSED HOMES ARE NOT IN THE NUMBERS SOME REPORTS SAY 90% OF THOSE HOMES ARE NOT ON THE MARKET ---IF THEY ARE NOT THERE ARE BIG PROBLEMS AHEAD---JUST KEEP PUSHING THE CART DOWN THE ROAD

July 31 2012 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ragtopdaz

The Governments and the banks grand plan of keeping us as well as our kids and grand kids as indentured servants is working as planed..
You will never own, nor have anything you can call your own.
They own the land you live on, they own half of your pay check, now soon they will decide how much health care you are worth according to the amount of tribute you give them.

If you hard core believers out there think you own the house and land you have paid for, think again.
Just miss a few years of taxes as see where you end up!!

I hate to say it, but the only thing you will ever own that the government can not take away from you is the burial plot your in as well as your coffin.

But now on the other hand if your one of those people who has never worked hard for you as well as yours kids and grand kids your saying is: : (The world is my oyster.)
(something from which you may extract or derive advantage by letting others pay for your daily needs.

No work no problem, no tribute to the government, no problem..

God provides food stamps, SSI, section 8 housing, free medical. And what ever is needed to keep the Serfs happy and for their votes to keep the madness going..

July 31 2012 at 4:53 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Carla Zinn

Many of these houses remain overpriced and many are underwater. It is still difficult to evaluate the proper value of a home. I just heard that insurance companies are asking homeowners of older homes to insure them for 4 and 5 times the real market value in order to give them cost new value, or in order to get the cost to rebuild. That is fraud and not sure how they are getting away with it. Insurance Commissioners, are you still asleep at the wheel like with health insurers?

July 31 2012 at 4:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Tow them to Tornado Aleey and collect the Insurance

July 31 2012 at 4:22 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
esword2020

thats wat a thief would do

September 04 2012 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

They have millions unemployed around the world with out houses so only those that can afford to buy a home care about the prices. Let them burn down and make parks!

July 31 2012 at 4:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
esword2020

are u all idiots here

September 04 2012 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
justthe2ofus

whatever........ I know whats going on.

July 31 2012 at 4:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Whose buying the homes the visa workers and home flippers?

July 31 2012 at 4:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ragtopdaz

The only people not affected by a bad economy are the generations of moochers on welfare.
Their benefits never go down, but from what I have been seeing over the last few years is that they actually went up. Now they are entitled to free cell phones with all the bells and whistles.

Housing prices ?? They don't care either way, Jobs?? Same thing..
All I can say is that I'm happy to see that the price of Spam and hotdog's hasn't gone thru the roof yet as I would need to get a third job to eat as well as support all of Obama's Illegal's and the rest of his voter base..

July 31 2012 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply