Home Prices Rise 0.3% in July Compared With June, Agency Says

WASHINGTON – The market value of U.S. homes rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in July compared with June, the third monthly increase this year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Tuesday.

Prices for the latest month fell 4.2 percent compared with July 2008 and were down 10.5 percent from the peak in April 2007, the FHFA’s statistics showed. Prices in July were at the same level as March 2005 and are essentially unchanged since January. Read the full report.

June’s price increase was revised to a 0.1 percent gain, down from 0.5 percent previously reported.

Prices for July rose in five of nine regions, led by a 1.6 percent gain in the Pacific states – defined as Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California – where prices have fallen 9 percent in the past year. The Mountain states – Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico – is now the region with the largest year-over-year decline, at 9.8 percent.

The biggest monthly drop in July was 0.9 percent and came in the East South Central states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

The FHFA index is based on repeat sales financed through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Other indexes of home prices underscore that prices have stabilized in the past few months after a historic drop in 2007 and 2008.

The Loan Performance index rose 0.4 percent in July after falling 6.8 percent over the past year. The Loan Performance index is up 1.6 percent since January.

The Federal Reserve uses the Loan Performance index to help determine household wealth, which rose by $2 billion in the second quarter, including a $323.4 billion increase in real estate wealth.

The Case-Shiller index rose 1.4 percent in June and is down 15.4 percent in the past year. The Case-Shiller index, tracking price changes in 20 major metropolitan areas, has fallen 5.8 percent since January.

July data for Case-Shiller will be released next Tuesday.

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