A quarterly index of national home prices in the second quarter showed improvement from both its first quarter and year-ago figures, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National Home Price Indices report released today.

The indices, which are based on repeat sales of single-family homes over time, have a base value of 100, with levels above 100 representing the percentage of home-value appreciation since January 2000.

The U.S National Home Price Index rose 3.6 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to 138.03, and rose 4.4 percent from the first quarter of this year.

A quarterly index of national home prices in the second quarter showed improvement from both its first quarter and year-ago figures, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National Home Price Indices report released today.

The indices, which are based on repeat sales of single-family homes over time, have a base value of 100, with levels above 100 representing the percentage of home-value appreciation since January 2000.

The U.S National Home Price Index rose 3.6 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to 138.03, and rose 4.4 percent from the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the monthly 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose 4.2 percent in June, to 147.97, compared to June 2009. That follows a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase in May.

"After 16 consecutive months of improvement in their annual rates of return, June’s figures were the first to moderate from their prior month’s pace, pointing to a possible deceleration in home-price returns," the report said.

Fifteen of the 20 metropolitan statistical areas covered by the index saw their home prices rise year-over-year. The index’s month-to-month gain was more modest: 1 percent.

"While the numbers are upbeat, other more recent data on home sales and mortgages point to fewer gains ahead," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a statement.

"The worry starts when you remember that the homebuyers’ tax credit has expired, foreclosures are still at high levels, and July data on home sales and starts were very, very weak. The inventory of unsold homes and months’ supply data were particularly troubling. If this relative weakness in demand continues, it will likely filter through to home prices in coming months."

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