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Posted at 09:39 AM ET, 07/26/2011

Washington homes buck national housing price decline

Home prices in Washington grew 1.3 percent in the past year, while the rest of country saw a decrease. (PAUL TAGGART/BLOOMBERG)
Home prices showed slight improvement in May, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, but prices were still down when compared with May 2010.

The Washington metropolitan area was the only place in the country where prices went up over the past year, with a 1.3 percent increase. Minneapolis saw the largest decrease in home prices, down 11.7 percent since last May.

The report, released Tuesday morning, found that home prices increased for the second month in a row in the report’s 10- and 20-city estimates — up 1.1 percent to 153.64 and 1 percent to 139.87, respectively. Compared to last year, however, the 10-city composite index fell 3.6 percent, while the 20-city composite was down 4.5 percent.

“While the monthly data were encouraging, most MSAs and both composites fared poorly in annual terms,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices in a statement.

“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. Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery,” he said. Blitzer also raised concerns that the increases may be seasonal.

Existing home sales were more or less flat in June, as reported last week by the National Association of Retailers, though the market did see a slight dip due to an unusual number of contract cancellations.

The Case-Shiller Indices calculate from the price paths of single-family homes based on the averages of 10-city and 20-city groups of major metropolitan areas.

By  |  09:39 AM ET, 07/26/2011

Tags:  Housing

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