The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index maintained a 5.6 percent annual gain in May, even as a key composite declined.
The index which covers home prices in 20 cities across the U.S. was up 5.7 percent in May, a decline from April. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimated the Case-Shiller 20 city composite would report a year-over-year gain of 5.8 percent in the month.
David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the lean supply of homes was a key driver to the continued rise in prices. The inventory of existing homes for sale is around four months and new home construction remains subdued by historical standards.
Blitzer said the pace of gains varies significantly by market, which is unlike the pattern seen in the 2000-2006 housing bubble when rising prices were almost universal.
Seasonally adjusted, 14 of the 20 cities in the composite reported price increases in May. On a monthly basis the composite rose 0.1 percent, short of a 0.3 percent increased expected by economists.
— Reuters contributed to this report.