Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in December for a seventh consecutive month, indicating the industry at the heart of the worst recession since the 1930s is stabilizing.The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index increased 0.3 percent from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis, more than anticipated and matching the gain in November, figures from the group showed today in New York. The gauge was down 3.1 percent from December 2008, the smallest decline since May 2007.Lower property values, rising incomes and government credits are making homes more affordable. A sustained recovery in housing still faces hurdles that include mounting foreclosures, a weak labor market and the eventual end of a Federal Reserve program aimed at keeping borrowing costs
By Timothy R. Homan, Feb. 23, 2010 Bloomberg Real Estate

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