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Case-Shiller index: 'Glimmer of hope' as home prices rise slightly

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The closely watched Case-Shiller index of home prices in American cities rose slightly in August from the prior month.

Prices of previously owned single-family homes rose 0.2% in August over July, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 metropolitan areas. The index dropped 3.8% from the same month a year prior.

“We see a modest glimmer of hope with these data,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, said in a statement.

Ten out of the 20 metro areas covered by the index saw home prices rise over the prior month.

California cities stumbled. Los Angeles fell 0.4% over the prior month; San Diego, 0.2%; and San Francisco, 0.1%. Atlanta saw the biggest decline, down 2.4%. Las Vegas fell 0.3%, and Phoenix was down 0.1%.

The Midwest has made gains in recent months, and Chicago and Detroit were both up 1.4% over the prior month. Washington, D.C., also has fared better than other regions and gained 1.6% over the prior month.

The monthly rise in the 20-city index made for the fifth consecutive month of gains. Earlier this year, the index dropped below its previous bottom, hit in April 2009, confirming a double dip in prices, but has come up above that since. Some economists predict a renewed decline in prices in fall and winter.

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-- Alejandro Lazo

Photo: A home for sale in Durham, N.C. Credit: Bloomberg

 
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