Home prices rose in July for the fourth straight month, but many cities are bracing for declines in the year ahead. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 0.6% in July from June and 3.2% from a year ago. Twelve cities showed monthly price gains. However, seven cities showed month-over-month declines and the gains in many cities were weaker from the previous month as the boost from government tax credits for homebuyers fades.
A record number of foreclosures, job concerns, and weak demand from buyers suggest price declines are coming in the months ahead. Nationally, prices have risen almost 7% from their April 2009 bottom. But they remain nearly 28% below their July 2006 peak.