Home prices post annual gains, down monthly in many cities

As predicted by some industry members and analysts, home prices have been steadily increasing throughout the year, especially when compared to levels from 2011.

As predicted by some industry members and analysts, home prices have been steadily increasing throughout the year, especially when compared to levels from 2011. The most recent Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show prices have improved by 4.3 percent since October 2011 when compared to the same month this year.

Data from the report shows the 10-City Composite saw a 3.4 percent return and the 20-City Composite was up 4.3 percent in October. These gains are notably larger than the 2.1 and 3 percent increases from the previous month, while 19 of the examined metros were higher than recorded in September. However, both New York and Chicago posted negative returns in October.

Areas hit hardest showing greatest signs of improvement

Phoenix continues to make headlines, as many housing market factors there have improved significantly since the start of the housing market slump, many posting notable strides this year.

According to the October report, average home prices for both composites were similar to levels seen in both measurements back in 2003. Additionally, the declines for the 10- and 20-City Composites from their peaks in mid-2006 were around 30 percent.

Twelve of the 20 MSAs studied posted negative month-over-month returns, while Portland, Phoenix , San Diego, San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles and Las Vegas all saw positive returns from September to October.

"Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "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."

He added Detroit, San Francisco and Phoenix appear to have a greater recovery, mostly because they have relatively low levels to bounce back from. Recoveries of cities in the Northeast, including New York and Boston may seem less strong, as they never fell to low levels seen in California and Arizona.



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