Home prices got a seasonal bump for the second month in a row in May, and the "shadow inventory" of distressed properties was shrinking in April, according to two recent reports from loan data aggregator and analytics firm CoreLogic.

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index showed home prices increasing by a nonseasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from April to May, but were down 7.4 percent from a year ago.

Excluding distressed sales — short sales and real estate owned (REO) properties — the year-over-year price decline was a more modest 0.4 percent.

If distressed sales were included, nine out of 10 of the country’s largest metro areas saw year-over-year price declines, compared to only half if distressed sales were excluded.

May home prices, top 10 metros

Metro area

Single family homes, % change from year ago

Excluding distressed, % change from year ago

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.



Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.



Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.



L.A.-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.



Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.



Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas



Philadelphia, Pa.



Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V.



Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX



New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.



Source: CoreLogic

In a separate report, CoreLogic estimated that the shadow inventory of seriously delinquent, foreclosed and REO homes slipped to 1.7 million in April, down 18 percent from a January 2010 peak of 2 million homes.

A high level of distressed sales and fewer new delinquencies helped reduce the "shadow inventory" — homes that are likely to end up on the market in the future, but are not yet listed in an MLS — to five months of supply.

CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said it will probably take several years for the market to absorb shadow inventory, given the long timelines for processing and completing foreclosures.

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