United States: Home prices continue to gain momentum
February 26, 2013
In December, the unadjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price composite index rose 0.2% over the preceding month, contrasting the 0.1% fall in November.
On an annual basis, home prices are now 6.8% higher than in the same month last year. The reading was up from the 5.4% increase recorded in November and represents the largest gain in annual terms seen in more than six years. However, despite the increase, home prices still remain 29.2% below the peak registered in July 2006. Out of the 20 cities surveyed, only New York exhibited lower prices over the same month last year, while Phoenix saw the largest annual increase.
S&P remained very optimistic, indicating that "home prices ended 2012 with solid gains" while adding that housing and residential construction led the economy in the final quarter of 2012. According to S&P, "as of the fourth quarter of 2012, average home prices across the United States are back at their autumn 2003 levels."