By Les ChristieJune 28, 2011: 2:39 PM ET

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The downward cycle in home prices broke in April after eight consecutive months of decline, according to a survey released Tuesday.

According to the S&P/Case Shiller 20-city index, prices rose 0.7% compared with March, although they fell 0.1% when adjusted for the strong spring selling season. Prices were down 4% year-over-year.

“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last — April’s numbers beat March,” said David Blitzer, S&P’s spokesman, in a statement. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the spring-summer home buying season.”

“It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather,” Blitzer added.

Any hint of good news in the troubled housing market will likely bring cheer to the industry, and there are some signs that market conditions are not quite as dire as some of the other statistics may indicate. Foreclosures, for example have been falling.

That has translated in a decline of 16% in the sales volume of distressed properties this year, while volume of non-distressed sales rose 11%, according to Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist for Deutsche Bank.

That’s good news because much of the price drop over the past year can be blamed on severe price slashing for homes in foreclosure, as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out in a press conference last Wednesday. Prices for homes sold by regular sellers have held up much better.

 

http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/28/real_estate/home_prices/index.htm

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