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Home prices rise again, but pace slows

Home prices are finally stabilizing.

Home prices are finally stabilizing.

A new report says that while home prices have risen for the second consecutive month, they appear to be stabilizing, which would remove market uncertainty for moving families.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed that home values across the country rose 0.6 percent from June to July, and 3.2 percent over the previous 12 months. However, analysts said that based on relatively low home sales figures, they did not expect prices to improve drastically in the coming months.

"Home prices crept forward in July," says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. "Anyone looking for home price to return to the lofty 2005-2006 might be disappointed. Judging from the recent behavior of the housing market, stable prices seem more likely."

Of the 20 major cities studied, 19 of them showed price increases over the previous 12 months. Only Las Vegas showed a year-over-year price decline.

Depressed home prices have left many homeowners with underwater mortgages, on which they owe more then their home is worth - making relocation difficult. A study earlier this month by CoreLogic found that 23 percent of mortgages fell into this category.