U.S. home prices rose for the second month in a row in May but fell compared to a year earlier, data analysis company CoreLogic said Thursday.
CoreLogic's home price index rose 0.8 percent in May from the month before, though prices were still down 7.4 percent from a year ago. Excluding distressed sales, prices declined just 0.4 percent year-over-year.
Relative strength in the non-distressed market, a slow decline in the number of homes expected to go on the market — known as shadow inventory — and stabilization in the amount of underwater homeowners are all positive signs, said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
"Nonetheless, the fragile economic recovery is still critical to the long-term recovery in the housing market," Fleming said in a statement.
The index is down 32.7 percent from the peak hit in April 2006. Excluding distressed sales, prices are down 21.2 percent in the same time frame.
Of the top 100 statistical areas measured by population, 91 showed yearly declines, the same amount as in April.
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