Case Shiller: Home Prices Up 1.3% after 7 Straight Monthly Drops

The Case Shiller Home Price Indexes rose for the first time in eight months in April. The 10- and 20-city indexes each rose 1.3 percent, to the highest levels this year. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was down 2.2 percent and the 20-city index off 1.9 percent, both improvements from March.

Economists had expected the 20-city index to show a 2.3 percent year-year decline in April

Prices improved month-month in all but one of the 20 cities tracked by Case Shiller; prices fell 3.6 percent in Detroit. Prices were up year-year in 10 of the 20 cities.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an single family home rose 5.4 percent in April while the government report from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development showed the median price of a new home fell 1.5 percent in that month.
Year-year, the median price of an existing single family home was up 7.8 percent in April, according to the NAR and the median price of a new home rose 5.0 percent according to the Census-HUD report.

Month-month price improvements in the cities in the Case Shiller index were led by a 3.4 percent jump in San Francisco followed by Washington DC (2.8 percent), Phoenix (2.5 percent), Atlanta and Cleveland (2.3 percent each) and Portland and Seattle (2.0 percent each). The price improvement Washington came despite a 0.7 percentage point jump in that city’s unemployment rate to 9.0 percent in April. The unemployment rate in each of the other cities showing a price improvement fell, according to date from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The year-year price gains were led by Phoenix, 8.6 percent, Minneapolis (3.8 percent), Miami (3.2 percent), and Denver and Dallas (2.8 percent).

Atlanta has the steepest year-year price decline, 17.0 percent, followed by Las Vegas (5.8 percent), Chicago (5.6 percent), New York (3.8 percent) and Los Angeles (3.6 percent).

Even with the improvement in April, the 10-city price index is down 49.3 percent from its June 2006 peak and the 20-city index is down 49.1 percent from its July 2006 high point.

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