U.S. home prices, at 2003 levels, up 2.2 percent in May according to Case-Shiller

TRD New York /
Jul.July 31, 2012 11:00 AM

U.S. home prices climbed 2.2 percent in May, according to the 20-city composite in S&P’s Case-Shiller Index, released today. That places the average price of a single-family home at spring 2003 prices, a 33 percent decline from the peak, in summer of 2006, the data shows.

Both the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city composites showed higher annual returns than in April — good but not great news for the housing market, which according to last month’s numbers, was still suffering, despite the season.

The cities that continued to show negative returns were Boston, Charlotte and Detroit; Atlanta was the only city the index measured that showed double-digit negative returns, at negative 14.5 percent, in May.

“We have observed two consecutive months of increasing home prices and overall improvements in monthly and annual returns,” Chairman of the index committee, David Blitzer, said in the statement from S&P Dow Jones Indices. “ However, we need to remember that spring and early summer are seasonally strong buying months so this trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall.”

Home prices in the New York metropolitan area were up 1.4 percent (0.6 percent when seasonally adjusted) according to the Case-Shiller data, but, as The Real Deal has pointed out, this data is largely irrelevant to the five boroughs, as co-ops and condominiums are not tracked by the indices.

Still, the national data point to cautious optimism.

“The housing market seems to be stabilizing, but we are definitely in a wait-and-see mode for the next few month,” Blitzer said. — Guelda Voien

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