By Les Christie October 25, 2011: 10:26 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Home prices continued a winning streak in August, the fifth straight month of price gains, but remain lower on a year-over-year basis.
A gauge of home prices featuring 20 major cities, the S&P/Case Shiller index, reported Tuesday that prices rose 0.2% in August but were still down 3.8% year over year.
“Even though the [year-over-year] rates are improving, national home prices are still below where they were a year ago,” said David Blitzer, a spokesman for S&P.
Overall, the market is treading water and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to suspect that’s going to change soon.
Comment from Bob Karp of Karp Properties LLC: Any increase in month-over-month home prices, no matter how miniscule, is better than steady declines of the past few years. Note that compared to prior years prices are about 3.8% lower. These statistics measure a narrow range of only 20 major cities and certainly may not apply to the Sierra Vista, Hereford, Arizona market. They do show that the trend remains stagnant and that housing prices have declined nationally around 30% since the peak in 2006. If you purchased a home in 2006/2007 you can expect that the value of your home has probably declined at least 20% given no other factors. The market outlook is not encouraging for any significant price increases in the next one to three years. Don’t let your home be an anchor if you wish to relocate or make a change.