Great article from the Denver Post!

Metro Denver home prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in July, offering another signal that the depressed real-estate market has turned around.

Area housing prices increased 1.5 percent from June but were down 2.9 percent compared with July 2008, according to the Standard & Poor's/ Case-Shiller home-price index.

Each of the index's 20 U.S. metro markets fell from a year ago, although Denver fared third-best by having the lowest annual drop after Cleveland and Dallas.

"The rate of decline in home-price values continues to decelerate, and we now seem to be witnessing some sustained monthly increases across many of the markets," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's.

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Metro Denver was hit by the housing slowdown earlier than other cities, but it appears to be bouncing back sooner than other markets, said housing analyst and realty broker Gary Bauer.

The median price of a single-family home in metro Denver rose to $227,000 in August, a 0.89 percent increase compared with the same month last year, according to a separate report based on a recent analysis of Metrolist data.

The median price for a condo was up to $144,500, a 3.2 percent increase for the same period.

"We've seen our fair share of the recession, but we've been insulated from some of the bigger peaks and valleys compared to other regions," Bauer said. "We still have an active market and lots of buyers out there."

Nationally, the S&P/Case-Shiller index showed a 13.3 percent decline in the past 12 months through July. For the one-month period from June to July, the index was up 1.6 percent.

Out of the 20 cities in the index, only Las Vegas and Seattle showed a decrease in values from June to July. The biggest monthly gainer was Minneapolis, up 4.6 percent.

Steve Raabe: 303-954-1948 or