U.S. home prices edge up in July-CoreLogic

NEW YORK Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:00am EDT

NEW YORK Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. home prices edged up for the fourth month in a row in July, while the yearly rate of decline moderated, data analysis company CoreLogic Inc said on Wednesday.

CoreLogic's (CLGX.N) home price index rose 0.8 percent from the month before. Prices declined 5.2 percent from July of last year, an improvement from June's year-over-year decline of 6.0 percent. June's yearly figure was revised from a decline of 6.8 percent.

Excluding distressed sales, prices fell just 0.6 percent from a year ago.

Even so, slower-than-anticipated economic growth and recent stock market volatility will continue to put pressure on home prices, and the positive impact from the summer buying season could soon diminish, said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"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. At that point the month-over-month growth will most likely turn negative," Fleming said in a statement.

The index is down 30.5 percent from the peak hit in April 2006. Excluding distressed sales, prices are down 20.7 percent in the same time frame.

Of the top 100 statistical areas measured by population, 86 showed yearly decreases, two fewer than June.

On Tuesday, the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller report showed home prices dipped 0.1 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis. For details, see [ID:nN1E77T0DO] (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)