Home prices up for 1st time in 3 years

Index of 20 major cities rises on a monthly basis for the first time since July 2006, hinting that the worst of the declines may be over.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The value of U.S. homes grew on a monthly basis in May for the first time in nearly three years, according to 20-city index released Tuesday.

The month-over-month increase was 0.5%, according to the report from financial data company Standard & Poor’s and economists Case-Shiller. It was the first increase in the monthly index since July 2006.

On an annual basis, home prices in the 20 cities fell 17.1%, but it was the second straight month that the year-over-year decline lessened.

“This could be an indication that home price declines are finally stabilizing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee S&P, in a prepared statement.

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