Home Prices Rise in April: S&P;/Case-Shiller
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:46 AM

US home prices rose in April from a month earlier, marking a first increase in eight months, S&P said in a report today. The rise in the home prices reflected the start of the spring-summer home buying season, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

The 10-city and 20-city composites were up 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, in April compared to March. Though 13 cities reported higher prices, six metropolitan areas hit new lows, including Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami and Tampa.

“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last - April’s numbers beat March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the Spring-Summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”

The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of single-family homes in 20 metropolitan areas, when adjusted for seasonal factors dipped 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the 10-city figure was flat. A poll of economists by Reuters had forecasted a decline of 0.2 percent.

However, on the year-to-year basis home prices were lower as the housing market struggles to recover amid tighter mortgage requirement, unemployment and an abundance of foreclosures. In comparison to the figures a year earlier, unadjusted prices April prices declined 3.1 percent for the 10 major markets while the 20-city index weakened by 4 percent.

Washington saw the biggest increase in home prices in April at 3 percent, while Detroit had the biggest drop at 2.9 percent.