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2012-08-28 07:19:06
Home prices gain for fifth month in June: S&P

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. single-family home prices gained for the fifth month in a row in June, a fresh sign of improvement in the housing market, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists' forecasts for 0.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices were even stronger, up 2.3 percent.

'We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change,' David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement.

'The market may have finally turned around.'

Prices in the 20 cities rose 0.5 percent compared to the year before.

For the second quarter, seasonally adjusted national prices jumped 2.2 percent compared to the 1.4 percent gain that was seen in the first quarter.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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