Home prices rise for first time in 8 months: Corelogic

NEW YORK Tue May 8, 2012 9:31am EDT

A view of a house for sale is seen in Los Angeles in this February 24, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

A view of a house for sale is seen in Los Angeles in this February 24, 2010 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni/Files

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Home prices rose in March for the first time since last July, helped by tighter housing inventory, data analysis firm CoreLogic said on Tuesday.

CoreLogic's home price index gained 0.6 percent from February, but was still down 0.6 percent compared with March a year ago.

Excluding sales of distressed properties, prices climbed 0.9 percent on a yearly basis. Homeowners in danger of foreclosure, or in "distress", often sell their homes at significantly reduced prices.

"This spring, the housing market is responding to an improving balance between real estate supply and demand, which is causing stabilization in house prices", Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement.

Of the top 100 statistical areas measured by population, 57 showed year-over-year declines, down from 65.

The closely watched S&P/Case Shiller index released in late April showed a rise in U.S. single-family home prices in February for the first time in 10 months, with a gain of 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

(Reporting By Leah Schnurr; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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