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Survey: Home Prices Up in Half of Major U.S. Cities

A newly built home site for sale in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. New home sales tumbled in August to the slowest pace in 17 years, while the average sales price fell by the largest amount on record, demonstrating the depth of the problem that Washington is trying to solve. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

A newly built home site for sale in Springfield, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. New home sales tumbled in August to the slowest pace in 17 years, while the average sales price fell by the largest amount on record, demonstrating the depth of the problem that Washington is trying to solve. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)  (AP2008)

WASHINGTON -- Home prices rose in August in half of major cities measured by a private survey, a sign that prices are stabilizing in some hard-hit portions of the country.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index shows prices increased in August from July in 10 of the 20 cities tracked. That marked the fifth straight month that at least half of the cities in the survey showed gains.

The biggest price increases were in Washington, Chicago and Detroit. The greatest declines were in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Over the past 12 months, prices have fallen in all but two cities -- Detroit and Washington.
Analysts warn that prices are certain to fall again once banks resume millions of foreclosures that have been delayed because of a yearlong government investigation into mortgage lending practices.