Home Price Gains Pick Up Speed

U.S. home prices are rising at a quickening pace, with November home values showing their biggest annual gain in more than six years, according to the newest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released today.

November’s index of home values in 20 major metropolitan areas showed a 5.5 percent increase over the preceding 12 months, the biggest annual gain reported since August 2006. That’s up from a 4.3 percent annual increase in October.

The report marks 11 consecutive months of improving annual price changes in the S&P indices, dating back to January 2012, when prices began to pull out of a downward trend.

“Clearly recovering”

“Housing is clearly recovering,” said David Blitzer, chair of the S&P Index Committee. “Prices are rising, as are both new and existing home sales. Existing home sales in November were 5.0 million, highest since November 2009. New home sales at 398,000 were the highest since June 2010. These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.”

Prices were up over the preceding 12 months in 19 of the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed, with the only decline being in the New York market, where prices were down 1.2 percent compared to November 2012.

5 cities post double-digit gains

The biggest gains in home values were seen in the Phoenix market, which posted a 22.8 percent 12-month increase in November. It was the seventh consecutive month of double-digit annual price gains for the Phoenix market, which saw some of the nation’s biggest declines in home prices during the crash.

Double-digit annual price increases were also reported for San Francisco, Detroit, Minneapolis and Las Vegas, though none approached Phoenix’s pace.

On a month-to-month basis, only 10 cities saw price increases from October to November, while 10 saw declines. Blitzer attributed the mixed performance to seasonal factors, noting that winter is usually a weak period for the housing market and saying that the continuing improvement in annual price changes point to an ongoing recovery.

First published at: http://www.mortgageloan.com/home-price-gains-pick-speed-9348

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