By Mark Memmott
The value of Americans' homes showed some improvement again in July, according to a closely watched index.
Standard & Poor's just released its latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and says that:
Although still negative, the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved compared to last month's reading. This marks approximately six months of improved readings in these statistics, beginning in early 2009.
"The rate of annual decline in home price values continues to decelerate and we now seem to be witnessing some sustained monthly increases across many of the markets" David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, says in S&P's news release.
Translation: Home prices -- as measured by where they were a year earlier -- aren't down by as much as they recently were. And in some places, prices are actually starting to go up again.