Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Home Prices Rise 0.3% in Sign of Halting Rebound

By:Kathleen M. Howley
Posted By: Stephen Barile

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. home prices rose 0.3 percent in July from the previous month, less than analysts’ estimates, in a sign that the housing recovery is tenuous.
The house price index fell 4.2 percent for the 12 months ended in July, the smallest decline this year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington said today. The monthly gain was lower than the 0.5 percent increase forecast by 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
“The general economic recovery is weak for one reason: because the housing recovery is weak,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders in Washington.
The U.S. housing market is struggling to stabilize after a three-year slump slashed values 28 percent and led to record foreclosures. While a federal tax credit for first-time buyers and lower prices are bolstering demand, the unemployment rate at a 26-year high has kept many buyers out of the market.

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