US Home Prices Post Highest Increase Since 2006

Home prices rose by 9.3 percent across the nation’s 20 major metropolitan areas in the year ending in February 2013 for the highest annual increase in growth since May 2006, according to real estate market trends reported today by S&P/Case-Shiller.

For the first time since early 2005, all 20 areas have posted year-over-year increase for at least two consecutive months, and the rate of annual growth accelerated in 16 of the cities, according to the group’s Home Price Indices for February.

“Home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities,” David M. Blitzer, Index Committee chair at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement interpreting the latest real estate market trends. “Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy.”

The largest annual price increases were seen in Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Atlanta, Blitzer said. The Atlanta housing market suffered a wave of foreclosures in 2012, while the Western cities were among the hardest hit by the housing market collapse.
In other real estate market trends, investment in residential real estate accelerated from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, making a “positive contribution” to economic growth, Blitxer said. The mix of housing is also shifting to include a larger-than-typical share of apartments.