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Home Prices In 20 U.S. Cities Likely Fell In April

Home prices probably decreased in April, showing the housing market remains an obstacle for the U.S. recovery, economists said before a report today.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from April 2010, the biggest year-over-year drop since November 2009, according to the median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Other data may show consumer confidence held near a six-month low.

A backlog of foreclosures and falling sales indicate prices may decline further, discouraging builders from taking on new projects. The drop in property values and a jobless rate hovering around 9 percent are holding back consumer sentiment and spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.

“Home prices remain incredibly bogged down by foreclosures and weak demand,” said Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York. “The picture is unlikely to change much this year. Declining home prices and high unemployment are bad for confidence.”

The S&P/Case-Shiller index, based on a three-month average, is due at 9 a.m. New York time. Survey estimates ranged from declines of 4.9 percent to 3.5 percent. Values fell 3.6 percent in the 12 months to March.

The New York-based Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge, due at 10 a.m., rose to 61 from 60.8 in May, according to the Bloomberg survey median. Estimates ranged from 55 to 66.7.


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