Home Prices up 4% in 2012 as Recovery Outpaces Estimates

National home prices have experienced a year-over-year uptick of more than 4%, well outpacing analysts’ estimates with several metro areas seeing more than six months of consecutive gains. 

Home prices were up 3.4% year over year in the Case-Shiller/Standard & Poors home price index comprising 10 composite cities, with prices up 4.4% for the 20-city index. 

The actual increases are substantially higher than analysts’ expectations for the year-over-year increase, which was expected at 2.1% and 3.0% for the respective indexes. 

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“Annual rates of change in home prices are a better indicator of the performance of the housing market than the month-over-month changes because home prices tend to be lower in fall and winter than in spring and summer,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Both the 10- and 20-City Composites and 19 of 20 cities recorded higher annual returns in October 2012 than in September. The impact of the seasons can also be seen in the seasonally adjusted data where only three cities declined month-to-month.”

The data suggest that a home price recovery is gaining strength, Case-Shiller noted in its analysis of the data. The uptick is consistent with other home price measures including Zillow and Trulia. 

“Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength,” Blitzer said. “Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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