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Home prices, inventory levels trend up: Altos Research

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Home prices and inventory levels are trending upward in many U.S. cities tracked by Altos Research, according to the firm's latest Housing Market Update. The median national home price for all 26 markets covered by Altos hit $450,358 in June, up from $444,273 in May. Meanwhile, in the past three months, listing prices rose 2.31% and inventory levels grew 3.52%. The only city to report a drop in home prices in June was Las Vegas and even that was a mere 0.86% decline when compared to the month before. When analyzing home price data for the past three months, both New York and Las Vegas experienced falling prices, reporting drops of 2.2% and 1.61%, respectively, Altos said. Inventory rose in 12 of the major markets tracked by Altos last month, while falling in the remaining 14 composite cities. The biggest inventory jump occurred in Boston, with the city's inventory level rising to 5.8%. Phoenix, on the other hand, experienced the largest inventory level drop, falling 7.93%. Even though the 90-day home price trends rose somewhat, Altos said a weekly sample taken from the month of June still shows a "slight flattening" in home prices. Comparatively, the latest S&P/Case Shiller report said the average price of a single-family home rose for the first time in eight months during the month of April. Altos suspects the S&P/Case-Shiller will be reporting a few positive trends through September. At the same time when looking forward, Altos foresees a slowing or plateau of home prices in the fourth quarter. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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