Home Prices Show Signs of Bottoming in April
Home prices in 20 large U.S. cities were down 18.1 percent in April compared with the previous April, slightly less of a drop than forecasters expected.
According to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released this morning, April was the third straight month that home prices did not set record year-over-year losses, a sign that prices might be stabilizing near a bottom.
When they will start to climb, however, is anyone's guess.
The 20-city index of home prices is down nearly 33 percent from its peak in the second quarter of 2006.
Home prices actually ticked up 0.8 percent in the Washington region in April, compared with April 2008, and also rose in Dallas and Denver.
However, the worst housing markets in the U.S. -- chiefly in the Sun Belt and Florida -- remained moribund. April home prices in Phoenix were down 2.2 percent compared with April 2008 and Miami was down 2 percent.
"This report confirms that the housing industry has hit bottom but that there is no major bounce coming in demand," Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist, Mizuho Securities U.S.A.
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