Home prices rose 1% in May compared to April, and 16 of 20 metropolitan areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller house price index (HPI) registered monthly price gains.

The May HPI released Tuesday morning shows that values have risen for two consecutive months since hitting a record low for (this downturn) in March.

“We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data," said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee. But Blitzer  noted that demand for housing is usually stronger in the spring.  "The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal," he said.

Housing analysts remain concerned about the lack of household formations, rock bottom home construction numbers, and the large number of underwater properties on the market.

While 16 cities registered price increases in May, home values fell in such hard hits markets as Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. In Phoenix, another depressed market, values were essentially unchanged during the month.

Overall, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city HPI is down 4.5% since May 2010.  Washington DC is the only metropolitan area that experienced an increase in prices over the previous 12 months.  Home prices in the nation's capital are up 1.3% since May 2010.

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