May Home Prices Climb, Private Index Shows

An existing home waits for a buyer or renter in Beachwood, Ohio, April 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
AP Photo/Amy Sancetta
Home prices in May posted their first monthly increase since the summer of 2006, indicating prices are finally stabilizing, data Tuesday showed.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities rose 0.5 percent from April, but was still 17.1 percent below May a year ago. Thirteen cities showed monthly increases with the best results in Cleveland, Dallas and Boston.

The 10-city index rose 0.4 percent from April, but was off 16.8 percent from May last year. It was the fourth consecutive month both indexes showed slowing price declines.

The 20-city index has lost more than 32 percent since its peak three years ago, putting home prices back to mid-2003 levels.

"We likely do have a way to go before we see sustained home price appreciation," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee.

The Case-Shiller index tracks repeat sales on a specific group of homes in each city. Sales between related parties, such as family members, are excluded.