A monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index tracking 20 metro areas rose 3.2 percent year-over-year in July, with half of the markets showing decline.

Las Vegas had the largest year-over-year drop in July, according to the report, and that market has experienced a 57 percent decline since its peak in August 2006, with index drops in 44 of the past 46 months.

Also, Las Vegas was the only metro among the 20 tracked to experience a new low on the index, noted David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee for Standard & Poor’s.

The Charlotte metro dropped 3.5 percent on the index year-over-year in July, and the Tampa, Fla., market sank 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco market experienced the largest gain, up 11.2 percent, followed by the San Diego market (9.3 percent), and the Los Angeles market (7.5 percent).

In seasonally adjusted monthly statistics, the New York market had the largest gain, at 1 percent, from June to July, and 16 of 20 markets declined. The Phoenix market experienced a 1.7 percent drop in July compared to June, Standard & Poor’s reported. The seasonally adjusted 20-metro price index dropped 0.1 percent in July compared to June.

"The next few months may give us an idea of the true strength of the housing market, as the temporary economic stimuli will have ended. Housing starts, sales and inventory data reported for August do not show signs of a robust market, and foreclosures continue," Blitzer reported.

The rate of existing-home sales rose 7.6 percent in August from a record low in July, the National Association of Realtors reported last week, and was down 19 percent from its August 2009 level.

New-home sales in August matched a record low set a month earlier, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau announced last week.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Metro Index change, July ’09-July ’10
San Francisco 11.2%
San Diego 9.3%
Los Angeles 7.5%
Washington 6.5%
Minneapolis 6.4%
Composite-10 4.1%
Phoenix 3.4%
Composite-20 3.2%
Boston 2.8%
Detroit 1.3%
New York 0.6%
Miami 0.4%
Denver -0.1%
Atlanta -0.2%
Dallas -0.4%
Cleveland -0.6%
Portland -1.2%
Seattle -1.6%
Chicago -1.7%
Tampa -3.2%
Charlotte -3.5%
Las Vegas -4.9%

Source: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

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