Economy

'A Modest Glimmer Of Hope': Home Prices Up In August

In this Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a "sale pending" sign hangs in the yard of a home in Mount Lebanon, Pa. i i

In this Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a "sale pending" sign hangs in the yard of a home in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP
In this Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a "sale pending" sign hangs in the yard of a home in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

In this Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a "sale pending" sign hangs in the yard of a home in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

Home prices rose slightly in August, according to the latest data from the S&P/Case-Shiller index. They're still down compared to August 2010, and way down from their pre-recession peak in 2006. But it's good-ish news, reports the AP:

The August data provide a "modest glimmer of hope" that some areas may have bottomed out and could be turning around, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee. He noted that cities in the Midwest — Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis — have shown some strength since May.

Still, Robert Shiller, the co-founder of the index and a Yale economics professor, said in an interview on CNBC that overall home prices were "flat" and a recovery in the struggling housing market was not on the horizon.

Over the past 12 months, prices have fallen in all but two cities. Detroit and Washington were the only two cities to show year-over-year gains.

ABC News reports that part of the reason the housing market is showing growth is that the "mortgage rates are still near 60-year lows," so they've "temporarily forestalled the drop in home prices."

One expert they talked to believes that once mortgage rates normalize, we'll see "renewed declines in residential real estate values."

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