NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) - U.S. home prices rose in May in a fresh sign the battered sector is stabilizing, data analysis firm CoreLogic said on Monday.
CoreLogic's home price index gained 1.8 percent from April and was up 2.0 percent from a year earlier.
Excluding distressed sales, prices fared even better, gaining 2.3 percent in May and 2.7 percent from a year ago. Homeowners in danger of foreclosure, or in "distress", often sell their homes at a significantly reduced price.
"The recent upward trend in U.S. home prices is an encouraging signal that we may be seeing a bottoming of the housing down cycle," Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic, said in a statement.
"Tighter inventory is contributing to broad, but modest, price gains nationwide and more significant gains in the harder-hit markets, like Phoenix."
The report's pending home price index indicates home prices will rise by at least another 1.4 percent in June and 2.0 percent excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic said.
Of the top 100 statistical areas measured by population, 29 showed year-over-year declines, down from 41 in April.