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Metro area home price flat, national index is up

Home prices rose for the fifth month in a row in October, but the recovery continues to be uneven with only 11 of the 20 metros tracked showing gains.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday edged up 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted reading of 145.36 in October. The index was off 7.3 percent from October last year.

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The index is now up 3.4 percent from its bottom in May, but still almost 30 percent below its peak in April 2006.

The index showed the New York metro area was 175.01, unchanged from the previous month, and down 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Eleven of the 20 cities posted month-over-month gains with San Francisco and Detroit posting the largest increases. Dallas recorded a flat reading for the month, while Tampa and Chicago had the largest declines.

“Coming after a series of solid gains, these data are likely to spark worries that home prices are about to take a second dip,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poors, said in a statement. That happened in the early 1980s, he said, and the current housing recovery appears more solid.

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