Home Prices On the Rise, “Real” Recovery to Be Determined

Home prices showed a second consecutive monthly increase in May, with the majority of 20 metropolitan statistical areas seeing a rise in home prices, according to the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller home Price Indices, released today.

May showed a 1% increase after a long period of declining home prices and a slight increase in April, that amounted to less than 1%. The increases, however, may be only seasonal, analysts say.

“We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This is a seasonal period  of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities. The exceptions where prices fell were Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. However, 19 of 20  cities saw prices drop over the last 12 months. The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal.

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The Case Shiller report also noted that Detroit, New York, Tampa and Washington D.C. saw above normal revisions in May. The data, however, is not enough to signal a recovery.

“We have now seen two consecutive months of generally improving prices; however, we might have a long way to go before we see a real recovery, Blitzer said. “Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery.”

Washington D.C. is the only metropolitan statistical area to see an annual increase in home prices, while Minneapolis saw the greatest year-over-year decline with home prices falling 11.7%.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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