Home prices increase from April to May

Home prices in May posted their first monthly increase since the summer of 2006, indicating prices are finally stabilizing, data Tuesday showed.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities rose 0.5 percent from April, but was still 17.1 percent below May a year ago. Thirteen cities showed monthly increases with the best results in Cleveland, Dallas and Boston.

The 10-city index rose 0.4 percent from April, but was off 16.8 percent from May last year. It was the fourth consecutive month both indexes showed slowing price declines.

The 20-city index has lost more than 32 percent since its peak three years ago, putting home prices back to mid-2003 levels.

"We likely do have a way to go before we see sustained home price appreciation," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee.

The Case-Shiller index tracks repeat sales on a specific group of homes in each city. Sales between related parties, such as family members, are excluded.