US home prices slip in November

US home prices fell slightly in November from the previous month but were still 5.5 percent higher from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday.

The 20-city price index declined 0.1 percent, after an 0.2 percent month-on-month fall in October, according to data not seasonally adjusted, with the greatest weakness in Chicago, Washington and Cleveland, Ohio.

Minneapolis, Minnesota; Phoenix, Arizona; and San Francisco showed the most strength, with all three also showing some of the best year-on-year price growth.

Despite the monthly dip, David Blitzer, head of the index committee, said there were positive signs.

"The November monthly figures were stronger than October, with 10 cities seeing rising prices versus seven the month before."

"Winter is usually a weak period for housing which explains why we now see about half the cities with falling month-to-month prices compared to 20 out of 20 seeing rising prices last summer."

"The better annual price changes also point to seasonal weakness rather than a reversal in the housing market. Further evidence that the weakness is seasonal is seen in the seasonally adjusted figures: only New York saw prices fall on a seasonally adjusted basis while Cleveland was flat."

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