Nationwide, home prices rose slightly in August compared to the same month last year, according to the monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Pr

Nationwide, home prices rose slightly in August compared to the same month last year, according to the monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

A 10-city composite index rose 2.6 percent year-over-year in August and a 20-city composite index rose 1.7 percent year-over-year. Compared to July, both indexes dipped slightly for the first time in several months: 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Fifteen out of 20 tracked metro areas saw index declines compared to July. Despite the overall index increase, 12 metro areas also saw declines compared to August 2009. Seventeen metro areas saw slowing annual growth rates.

"A disappointing report. Home prices broadly declined in August. Over the last four months both the 10- and 20-city Composites show slowing growth, after sustaining consistent gains since their April 2009 troughs," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a statement.

"Indeed, the housing market appears to have stabilized at new lows. At this time, it does not seem that any of the markets are hanging on to the temporary momentum caused by the homebuyers’ tax credits," he added.

Average home prices nationwide are back to late 2003 and early 2004 levels, the report said.

Several cities — San Diego, Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle — experienced month-to-month index declines after sustaining consecutive increases for several months.

Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington, D.C., have posted at least four straight months of month-to-month increases, though none of the 20 metro areas posted more than a 1 percent increase from July, the report said.

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