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2009-10-22 12:34:08

Denver home prices rise again, getting closer to 2008 levels…(Denver Business Journal)

Home prices in the Denver area rose in July for the fifth straight month, and prices are creeping closer to where they were a year ago, according to Standard & Poor's closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Index.

Home prices in Denver rose 1.5 percent in July from the previous month, according to the index report, released Tuesday. That follows a 2.5 percent month-over-month rise in June, a 1.3 percent increase in May, a 1.5 percent rise in April and a 0.1 percent gain in March.

Those increases followed month-over-month price declines in January and February.

As for year-over-year changes, Denver home prices fell 2.9 percent in July from the same month in 2008, down from the 3.6 percent year-over-year decline in June and the 4.6 percent drop in May.

Denver's year-over-year decline in July was the third-smallest of any of the 20 U.S. cities tracked by the Case-Shiller Index, bested only by Cleveland (a 1.3 percent decline from July 2008) and Dallas (a 1.6 percent decline). All 20 cities declined to some extent.

The average year-over-year skid among the 20 cities was 13.3 percent, with Phoenix posting the biggest decline: 28.5 percent.

As for month-over-month results, Denver's price increase was slightly smaller than the 20-city average rise of 1.6 percent. All but two cities (Las Vegas and Seattle) posted price gains on the month, with Minneapolis on top at 4.6 percent.

'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 Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement Tuesday.

Blitzer said that while the new figures 'continue to support an indication of stabilization in national real estate values,' prices may be affected by the scheduled Dec. 1 expiration of the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers as well as anticipated higher national unemployment rates.

The index is compiled by comparing matched-price pairs for thousands of single-family homes in each market. Standard & Poor’s and Fiserv Inc. publishes it.

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