A widely watched home price index provided more evidence Tuesday that home values are stabilizing across the nation.

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, nearly all the 20 major metropolitan markets tracked posted monthly gains in home prices in July.  The big winner? Minneapolis, with a 4.6% jump. Only Seattle (down 0.1%) and Las Vegas (down 1.1%) recorded month-over-month declines.

As a result, the declines when comparing annual values are shrinking. Three markets—Cleveland, Dallas, and Denver—are narrowing those comparisons so much that they could soon post year-over-year home price growth. Cleveland home prices in July were down just 1.3% compared to the same month one year ago; Dallas and Denver were off 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively.
“The rate of annual decline in home price values continues to decelerate, and we now seem to be witnessing some sustained monthly increases across many of the markets,” observed David M. Blitzer, chairman of Standard & Poor’s index committee, who urged index watchers to be cautious, given the approaching end of the housing tax credit and other economic factors that could influence home values in the months to come.

In terms of Case-Shiller’s 10-city composite, which includes Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., the index showed a 1.7% monthly gain. The 20-city composite, which covers those same 10 cities plus Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, and Tampa, increased 1.6%.

On an annual basis, the 10-city composite declined 12.8% while the 20-city composite fell 13.3%.

Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA.