UPDATE 1-US home prices dip in July, seen hovering near lows

(Adds quotes, graphic and Insider interviews links, byline)

By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK, Sept 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Single-family home prices
dipped in July, hovering above multi-year lows absent the
homebuyer tax credit that ended in April, according a Standard
& Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price report on Tuesday.

High U.S. unemployment and millions of foreclosed homes and
distressed borrowers keep stalling a home price recovery,
overshadowing high affordability and record low mortgage rates,
economists agree.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan
areas declined 0.1 percent in July from June on a seasonally
adjusted basis, as expected in a Reuters poll. The dip followed
a 0.2 percent June rise, which was revised down from a 0.3
percent increase.

Prices measured by S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-city index remain
27.9 percent below the peaks set in mid-2006, having edged up
about 7 percent from a trough in April 2009.

“We still have a large oversupply of homes for sale and
that’s likely to keep prices soft well into next year,” said
Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Co. in
Springfield, New Jersey.

Unadjusted for seasonal impact, the 20-city index gained
0.6 percent after June’s 1 percent gain. A 0.4 percent rise was

S&P, which publishes the indexes, also said home prices in
the 20 cities index rose 3.2 percent from July 2009, a slower
annual pace than the 4.2 percent increased in June.

Ten of the cities had annual gains and only Las Vegas set a
new low, as the impact of the homebuyer tax credit faded away,
S&P said. But the year-over-year growth rates slowed in 16 of
the cities and both the 10- and 20-city composite indexes in
July from the prior month.
See Insider interviews with Blitzer and with Shiller:
See related graphic: http://link.reuters.com/wus75p

“While we could still see some residual support from the
homebuyers’ tax credit, which covers purchases closing through
September 30th, anyone looking for home prices to return to the
lofty 2005-2006 levels might be disappointed,” David M.
Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P, said in a
press release.

Average single-family home prices have fallen to levels
last seen in late 2003, according to S&P.

“Housing starts, sales and inventory data reported for
August do not show signs of a robust market, and foreclosures
continue,” he said, adding “stable prices seem more likely.”
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Editing by W Simon

UPDATE 1-US home prices dip in July, seen hovering near lows