July marks the third consecutive month of national home price increase according to the benchmark Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller home price index. The July index, released Tuesday, shows average home prices increased 1.5% for the HPI’s 10-city composite and 1.6% for its 20-city metric in July versus June 2012.
The annual returns for the 10- and 20- city composites were 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively, when looking at the year-over-year data.
“Home prices increased again in July,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row. Even better, 16 of the 20 cities and both Composites rose over the last year. Atlanta remains the weakest city but managed to cut the annual loss to just under 10%.”
The results are confirmation that a recovery is under way, Blitzer said.
“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing,” he said. “All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”
Regionally, certain areas lag the national uptick while others outpace it with Miami and Phoenix measuring well above their bottom levels. Likewise San Francisco is up 20%, Detroit nearly that much and Phoenix and Minneapolis both above 15%. They are some of the hardest hit markets, but are showing strong signs of recovery.
“The positive news in both the monthly and annual rates of change in home prices over the past few months signals a possible recovery in the housing market,” Blitzer said.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker