S&P/Case-Shiller: US home prices rise 5.2% in May; gains ease from prior month

Real estate agents arrive at a brokers tour showing a house for sale in San Rafael, California.
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Real estate agents arrive at a brokers tour showing a house for sale in San Rafael, California.

The pace of U.S. home price gains cooled off in May, coming in below consensus estimates, as regional patterns were seen shifting, according to a monthly report.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite index rose 5.2 percent year over year, versus expectations for a reading of 5.7 percent. That marked a sequential slowdown from April's 5.4 percent increase.

Still, home-price appreciation continues throughout much of the United States, David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

"Overall, housing is doing quite well. In addition to strong prices, sales of existing homes reached the highest monthly level since 2007 as construction of new homes showed continuing gains," he said.

Portland, Oregon, led the gainers with price appreciation of 12.5 percent in May. Seattle followed with a 10.7 percent increase, and Denver came in third with a 9.5 percent gain.

Outside the top three, Blitzer identified a change of fortunes for some metro areas.

"Miami and Tampa have recovered in the last few months while Las Vegas and Phoenix remain weak. When home prices began to recover, New York and Washington saw steady price growth; now both are among the weakest areas in the country," he said.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which measures all nine U.S. census divisions, was up 5 percent in April from the previous year.

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