From Bloomberg News:

Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) — The worst may be over for the U.S. real estate market, according to two gauges of home prices.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, which tracks 20 metropolitan areas, declined 15.4 percent in June from a year earlier, the smallest drop since April 2008, the group said today in New York. Nationally, prices fell 6.1 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the best performance in a year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

“It is real and it looks like a turn,” said Karl Case, an economics professor at Wellesley College and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. “It’s not going down any more and it’s beginning to come up. That’s very good for the future of this financial problem.”

Falling prices and government stimulus efforts have made houses more affordable for first-time buyers, spurring increases in sales that have pared the number of available properties. Gains in housing and stock prices could speed the process of restoring the record loss of wealth that has shackled consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy. Read more

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