Spring buying boosts home prices for 2nd month

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    WASHINGTON (AP) ? Home prices in major U.S. cities rose for the second straight month in May, propped up by an annual flurry of spring buyers. But after adjusting for such seasonal factors, prices fell in a majority of markets.

    The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices rose in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks.

    Boston posted the biggest monthly increase, followed closely by Minneapolis and Washington. Three metro areas hit the hardest by the housing crisis ? Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa, Fla. ? hit their lowest points since the recession began. Prices in Phoenix were unchanged.

    The index covers metro areas that include about 50 percent of U.S. households. It rose 1 percent in May. But 19 of the 20 cities have seen price declines over the past year.