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Home Prices Rose Modestly In Second Quarter, But Still Below Year Ago

A sold sign in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday earlier this month.
Orlin Wagner
A sold sign in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday earlier this month.

One widely watched measure of U.S. home prices rose 3.6 percent in the second quarter from first-quarter 2011.

But the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index was still down 5.9 percent from second-quarter 2010.

As The Associated Press says, the report signals that "spring buying pushed home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. But the housing market remains shaky, and further price declines are expected this year."

One interesting note: In June, prices didn't decline in any of the 20 major metropolitan areas where S&P/Case-Shiller collects data. They were flat in Portland, Ore., and up just 0.1 percent in Las Vegas. The biggest increases were 3.2 percent gains in Chicago and Minneapolis.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.