Home prices post fourth month of gains

Case-Shiller indices show Las Vegas, Phoenix losing ground in July

U.S. home prices inched up for the fourth month in a row, rising 0.9 percent from June to July, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Only two of the 20 metro areas tracked by the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite saw month-to-month price declines: Las Vegas (-0.2 percent) and Phoenix (-0.1 percent). The index showed prices in Las Vegas down 59.3 percent from their August 2006 peak, hitting a new low.

Looking back a year, 18 out of 20 metro areas saw annual price declines, with the price index for Minneapolis falling 9.1 percent, Phoenix down 8.8 percent, and Portland, Ore., dropping 8.4 percent.

Detroit (up 1.2 percent) and Washington D.C. (up 0.3 percent) were the only cities to post annual gains in July, leaving the 20-City Composite down 4.1 percent.

But a dozen other cities — Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, and Tampa — posted improvements in annual price declines compared to June.