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Home Prices Increase, Still Down from Last Year

While home prices continue to decelerate on an annual basis after reaching peak speed in February, price gains did pick up slightly from April to May, according to FNC's latest price index.

After rising 0.6 percent over the month in both March and April, national home prices rose 1 percent in May, according to FNC's data, which excludes the sales of distressed properties.

On the other hand, the national annual price gain in May was 8.2 percent, down from 8.5 percent in April and 9.2 percent in March.

Among the large metros in FNC's 30-MSA composite, the fastest annual price appreciation took place in Sacramento (24.0 percent), Riverside, California (22.2 percent), and Miami (20.6 percent).

Cincinnati (-0.2 percent), Cleveland (-2.5 percent), and St. Louis (-2.8 percent) registered annual price declines in May, according to FNC.

In fact, these three metros, along with Columbus, Ohio, "have not shown any measurable improvements since housing began to recover in the past two and half years," FNC stated in a press release.

St. Louis has shown the smallest improvement, with a price gain of just 1.1 percent since the start of the housing recovery, according to FNC. Price gains in the other three cities range from about 4 to about 6 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix's home prices have risen 58.7 percent since the start of the housing recovery. Sacramento (53.8 percent), Las Vegas (49.5 percent), and San Francisco (48.0 percent) also fall in line at the top of the list of recovering markets.

FNC observed "a widening gap in the state of housing recovery nationwide."

In general home prices in the 30 large metros "show[ed] sizable month-to-month price gains" in May, according to FNC, which recorded price increases of at least 2 percent in New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Riverside, and Sacramento.

However, Dallas (-1.4 percent) and Nashville (-2.3 percent) posted price declines over the month. FNC chalks these surprising declines up to "short-term volatility in the data," stating, "there are no obvious signs of weakening housing fundamentals in those cities."

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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