Some good news from Case-Shiller

The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a leading indicator of U.S. housing prices, delivered some good news for a change on Aug. 30, reporting that home prices increased by 3.6% in the second quarter of 2011, after falling 4.1% during the previous quarter. Compared with the second quarter of 2010, however, the index still posted an annual decline of 5.9%.

As of June 2011, 19 of the 20 MSAs covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller and both monthly composites (20-city and 10-city) were up since May. Portland, the one exception, was flat. However, they were all down compared with June 2010.

Twelve of the 20 MSAs and both composites have now increased for three consecutive months, a sign of seasonal strength in the housing market.

David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P, said: “This month’s report showed mixed signals for recovery in home prices. No cities made new lows in June 2011, and the majority of cities are seeing improved annual rates. The national index was up 3.6% from the 2011 first quarter, but down 5.9% compared with a year-ago.”

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