U.S. Home Prices Post Biggest Gains Since 2006

U.S. Home Prices Post Biggest Gains Since 2006

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By Kevin Brass | March 26, 2013 9:22 AM ET

U.S. home prices in 20 cities were up 8.1 percent in January from a year earlier, the largest year-on-year increase since the summer of 2006, according to data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released today.

All 20 cities tracked by the index posted gains, led by Phoenix, where prices were up 23.2 percent from a year earlier. Nineteen of the 20 cities showed an acceleration in price increases, with Detroit the lone exception.

New York also returned to "positive territory" after 28 months of negative annual returns, Case Shiller reports.

The overall numbers "marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Areas hardest hit by the downturn are now posting the highest annual increases, including Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Atlanta and Dallas are also rebounding, recording their largest ever year-over-year gains, the company reports.

"Economic data continues to support the housing recovery," Mr. Blitzer said in a statement. "Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013."

Although there has been a "slight uptick" in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25 percent from a year earlier, the report notes.

Data released today from CoreLogic shows an 18 percent drop in the so-called "shadow inventory" of distressed properties.

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