Home prices rose sharply in May cutting the year-over-year drop in prices to 0.7 percent from 1.8 percent in April, ""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.dol.gov/ reported Tuesday in its Case-Shiller Home Price Index.[IMAGE]
Prices in the 20 cities surveyed rose 2.2 percent month-over-month, the strongest such gain since the 20-city index began in January 2000.
The 10-city index also improved 2.2 percent in May, shaving the year-over-year decline in price to 1.0 percent in May from 2.2 percent in April. The month-over-month increase fell short of the 2.3 percent gain registered in June 2004.
Economists had expected the 20-city index to grow show a 1.2 percent in May cutting the year-over-year price decline to 1.4 percent.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Prices improved month-over-month in all of the 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller led by a 4.5 percent jump in Chicago and a 4.0 percent increase in Atlanta ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the highest in each city since the Case Shiller index began.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an single-family home rose 3.8 percent in May while the government report from the Census Bureau and HUD showed the median price of a new home rose 1.5 percent in that month.
Year-over-year, the median price of an existing single-family home was up 7.9 percent in May, according to the NAR and the median price of a new home rose 6.8 percent according to the Census-HUD report.
In addition to Chicago and Atlanta, prices rose 3.9 percent in San Francisco, 3.1 percent in Minneapolis 2.6 percent in Portland and 2.5 percent in Washington, D.C.
Prices rose year-over-year in 12 of the 20 cities, led by led by Phoenix, 11.5 percent, Minneapolis, 4.7 percent, Dallas, 3.8 percent and Denver 3.7 percent.
The steepest year-over-year price drop was in Atlanta, 14.5 percent, followed by Las Vegas, 3.2 percent and Chicago, 3.0 percent.
Even with the improvement in April, the 10-city price index is down 47.5 percent from its June 2006 peak and the 20-city index is down 47.1 percent from its July 2006 high point.