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Originally published August 28, 2012 at 7:03 AM | Page modified August 28, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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Seattle-area home prices post fourth monthly gain

Seattle-area prices were up 1.8 percent between May and June, the fourth straight monthly increase, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Home prices rose between May and June in the Seattle metropolitan area and every other city tracked by the closely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, another sign that the housing market is improving.

Seattle-area prices were up 1.8 percent month-over-month, the fourth straight monthly increase. They also were up 1.8 percent compared with June 2011, the second consecutive year-over-year rise. The Seattle metropolitan area includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Case-Shiller's 20-city composite index was up 2.3 percent month over month and 0.5 percent year over year. All 20 cities saw prices increase between May and June -- the most recent month for which information is available -- and 14 saw increases compared with the same month in 2011.

"We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. The market may have finally turned around," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The Seattle area's Case-Shiller score for June was 139.89, meaning prices were 39.89 percent higher than in January 2000. It was the region's highest score since November 2010. The region's highest score, 192.30, came in July 2007. Its lowest score since the real-estate bubble burst, 128.99, came this February.

Seattle's June results were in the middle of the pack when compared with the other 19 cities Case-Shiller tracks.

Thirteen metropolitan areas had bigger monthly increases, led by Detroit at 6 percent. Ten saw bigger year-over-year rises, topped by Phoenix at 13.9 percent -- the only double-digit increase.

Eric Pryne: epryne@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2231

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