Home values in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas declined less than forecast in the year ended in July, a sign the housing slump that led to the worst recession in seven decades is abating.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index fell 13.3 percent in July from a year earlier, the smallest drop in 17 months, the group said today in New York. Adjusted for seasonal variations, the gauge rose 1.2 percent from the prior month.
Foreclosure-driven price declines, low borrowing costs and government tax credits for first-time buyers have lifted home sales for much of this year, helping to slow the decline in prices.
Stability in real-estate values and rising stock prices may help set the stage for a recovery in the consumer spending that accounts for two thirds of the economy.