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Home Prices Post Slight Gain for July but Still Below Year-Ago Levels

Home prices rose 0.8 percent during the month of July, marking the fourth consecutive month of increase, according to ""CoreLogic's"":http://www.corelogic.com July home price index, released Wednesday.
[IMAGE] ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com responded to CoreLogic's report saying, ""We are wary of reading too much into CoreLogic's fairly optimistic house price report for July, which showed that seasonally adjusted prices fell by just 0.1% m/m, when prices have yet to respond to the recent weakening in demand.""

""The simple truth is that demand will not be strong enough to prompt a decent recovery in prices. In fact, prices will probably fall a bit further later this year,"" Capital Economics concluded.

Despite the monthly increase, prices declined 5.2 percent year-over-year.

The decline is smaller when considering only non-distressed sales - 0.6 percent year-over-year.

When considering both distressed and non-distressed sales, the greatest decrease took place in Nevada, which posted a 12.2-percent decline from July 2010.

Following Nevada, states with the greatest declines in prices from July 2011 to July 2010 were Arizona (-11.9


percent), Illinois (-10.0 percent) Minnesota (-8.6 percent), and Idaho (-7.8 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, West Virginia experienced the highest increase in home prices with a 14-percent increase - more than four times the increase seen in the second-ranked state.

Following West Virginia in the top five states with greatest increases in home prices were New York (+3.3 percent), Wyoming (+3.2 percent), Mississippi (+2.4 percent), and the District of Columbia (+2.3 percent).

In all, eleven states posted price increases for the 12-month period.

CoreLogic also measures prices in 100 core based statistical areas, measured by population. Eighty-six reported year-over-year declines in July, while 88 posted declines in June.

Among the core based statistical areas, Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Arizona posted the greatest decline in prices - 10.8 percent from July 2010 to July 2011.

The Arizona statistical area was followed closely by Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Illinois with a 10.7-percent decline.

""While July's numbers remained relatively positive, particularly for non-distressed sales which have been stable, seasonal influences are expected to fade in late summer,"" said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

""At that point the month-over-month growth will most likely turn negative. The slowdown in economic growth and increased uncertainty caused by the recent stock market volatility will continue to exert downward pressure on prices,"" Flemming added.

National home prices are 30.5 percent below their peak in April 2006.

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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