September 28, 2010 / 1:09 PM / 9 years ago

US July home prices dip, seen stabilizing-S&P/Case

NEW YORK, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Single-family home prices dipped in July, and are seen stabilizing near the lows without the homebuyer tax credit that ended in April, Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price indexes showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.1 percent in July from June on a seasonally adjusted basis, as expected in a Reuters poll. The dip followed a 0.2 percent June rise, which was revised down from a 0.3 percent increase.

Unadjusted, the 20-city index gained 0.6 percent after June’s 1 percent gain. A 0.4 percent rise was expected.

S&P, which publishes the indexes, also said home prices in the 20 cities index rose 3.2 percent from July 2009, a slower annual pace than the 4.2 percent increased in June.

Ten of the cities had annual gains and only Las Vegas set a new low, as the impact of the homebuyer tax credit faded away, S&P said. But the year-over-year growth rates slowed in 16 of the cities and both the 10- and 20-city composite indexes in July from the prior month.

“While we could still see some residual support from the homebuyers’ tax credit, which covers purchases closing through September 30th, anyone looking for home prices to return to the lofty 2005-2006 levels might be disappointed,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P, said in a press release.

“Housing starts, sales and inventory data reported for August do not show signs of a robust market, and foreclosures continue,” he said, adding “stable prices seem more likely.”

The 20-city index showed home prices remain 27.9 percent below the peaks set in mid-2006. (Reporting by Lynn Adler; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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