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IAS: Home Prices Up 1.6 Percent

Hinting at another small victory for the housing market, Denver-based ""Integrated Asset Services, LLC"":http://www.iasreo.com (IAS) has reported a gain in national home prices of 1.6 percent during the month of May. The company released its ""IAS360 House Price Index"":http://www.iasreo.com/ias360.html (HPI) Tuesday, which showed an increase in property values in all four U.S. census regions.
Following a fractional gain in April, May represents the largest one-month increase in the IAS360 HPI since July of 2005. The index had previously fallen more than 19 percent from its high-water mark in June of 2007, and is still down 10.5 percent compared to May 2008.
Regionally, the Northeast led the way with a jump in home prices of 3.2 percent. The Midwest reported a positive return of 1.9 percent, the South gained 1.1 percent, and in the West home prices rose 0.9 percent.
Dave McCarthy, president and CEO of Integrated Asset Services, commented, ""Two month's worth of positive data hardly signals a turn in the national housing market, but we have to be encouraged by what we’re seeing in several important counties and neighborhoods.""
The IAS360 HPI showed gains in May for nine of the nation’s 10 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), a notable turnaround from just two months ago when Denver was the only region in the nation with positive performance.
For its part, Denver added another 0.4 percent in May, according to IAS’ study, while Boston and Chicago followed solid April numbers with increases of 3.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. The gains in the West, were particularly apparent, with San Francisco up 3.0 percent, Los Angeles up 2.8 percent, and San Diego up 1.2 percent. Only the Las Vegas housing market continued to slide with a drop of 0.9 percent for the month.
According to John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, a national consulting and research firm that is on retainer with many of the largest companies in the housing and investment industries, we’re seeing a shift in home sales that is manifesting itself as increased pricing
Burns explained, ""For a while, the bulk of homes sales were distressed properties in declining neighborhoods. Home affordability combined with tax credits have proven compelling. Sales are shifting back to more traditional submarkets and neighborhoods. That said, there is still a lot of downward pressure on pricing due to foreclosures and recent changes in the appraisal process. We aren’t out of the woods yet.""
McCarthy added, ""With all of the political and regulatory uncertainties, combined with rising unemployment and foreclosure inventories, it’s too soon to speculate that a housing recovery is really here.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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