Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home prices rise, snapping 8-month drop streak

The downward cycle in home prices broke in April after eight consecutive months of decline, according to a survey released Tuesday.
According to the S&P/Case Shiller 20-city index, prices rose 0.7% compared with March, although they fell 0.1% when adjusted for the strong spring selling season. Prices were down 4% year-over-year.
"In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last -- April's numbers beat March," said David Blitzer, S&P's spokesman, in a statement. "However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the spring-summer home buying season."
"It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather," Blitzer added.
Any hint of good news in the troubled housing market will likely bring cheer to the industry, and there are some signs that market conditions are not quite as dire as some of the statistics may indicate.

Foreclosures for sale: Big supply, low prices

Much of the price drop over the past year can be blamed on severe price slashing for homes in foreclosure, as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out in a press conference last Wednesday. Prices for homes sold by regular sellers have held up much better.
Metropolitan Washington continued to be the strongest of the 20 cities covered by the report. Prices rose 3% in April there and have been on the plus side year-over-year, up 4%.
The worst performing market for the month was Detroit, where prices fell 2.9%. The biggest year-over-year drop was recorded by Minneapolis, where prices have plunged 11.1% since last April.

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