July 14, 2009 Elad Bushari

Boston-area home prices rose 3.7 percent in May, offering a rare piece of positive news in a housing market that has tumbled some 10.8 percent since its peak in 2006.

The local real estate data was part of a broader study of home prices that showed a 1.6 percent increase in the United States from the end of April through the end of May. Nationally, home prices are still down 10.5 percent year-over-year.

The report, by Integrated Asset Services LLC, showed the strongest gain in the Northeast, where prices rose 3.2 percent.Suffolk County saw the strongest gain locally, rising 5.9 percent over May’s numbers. Still, Suffolk County home prices, which includes sales in Boston proper, are down some 18.2 percent since the peak, according to IAS.

Other Mass. counties to see increases in May included Middlesex (4.5 percent), Plymouth (2 percent), Essex (3.2 percent) and Norfolk (1.9 percent).

On a year-over-year basis, prices were down across the board in Massachusetts, with Norfolk (down 11.8 percent) and Essex (13.7 percent) leading the declines among local counties.

In the West, prices rose 0.9 percent, the smallest jump in the IAS report. The South, the only region to see a house price drop in April, rose 1.1 percent in May.

Dave McCarthy, president and CEO of Integrated Asset Services, called the results encouraging, though he said the data “hardly signals a turn in the national housing market.”

Las Vegas saw home prices continue to drop, the report said. There they fell 0.9 percent in May.

Integrated Asset Services is privately held and based in Denver. It specializes in default mortgage services.

Elad Bushari

Elad Bushari is the Broker / Owner of Bushari Group Real Estate and a National "30 Under 30" Honoree by REALTOR Magazine in 2009.

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