One month after reporting that its home price gauge had officially double dipped, Standard & Poor’s says prices have inched up, in line with the expected seasonal boost that accompanies the spring buying season.
The 20-city composite reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller indices posted a 0.7 percent increase in April versus March. The 10-city composite was up 0.8 percent. It’s the first time the two measurements have posted monthly gains in eight months.
Both indices are lower than a year ago. The 20-city composite remains 4.0 percent below April 2010, while the 10-city reading is down 3.1 percent.
Looking at the monthly movement, even in the midst of the spring season, it wasn’t all up and up.
Seven cities experienced lower prices compared to March, and six showed new index lows in April: Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa. Boston posted a 0.2 percent drop for April when compared to March, but managed to hold above a new low point.
The biggest monthly gain was recorded in Washington D.C., way out ahead of the pack with a 3.0 percent jump. The closest behind D.C. was San Francisco with a 1.7 percent increase.
“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last – April’s numbers beat March,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee for S&P.
“However,” Blitzer added, “the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the Spring-Summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”