US house prices weaken in June

US house prices fell slightly in June, an index of pricing shows, in the latest sign that the housing market remains weak.

A Standard & Poor’s index of 20 cities across the US showed house prices fell 4.5 per cent in June compared with a year ago.

The fall was slightly better than the 4.6 per cent fall economists expected, and none of the cities analysed showed alarming falls.

But the S&P / Case Schiller composite index of the cities fell 0.1 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis, below expectations for it to remain flat.

"This month's report showed mixed signals for recovery in home prices. No cities made new lows in June 2011, and the majority of cities are seeing improved annual rates," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement.

Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, warned that prices still had further to fall.

"Sales have slipped back again in recent months so we expect to see prices dipping again by the fall of this year. A renewed plunge in prices seems unlikely, however, with price-to-income ratios so low, mortgages rates falling and the labor market in better shape than a year ago," he said.