U.S. home prices up 2.2 percent in May, hit 2003 levels

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 even 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.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

“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.”

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