United States: Home prices maintain upward trend
November 28, 2012
In September, the unadjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price composite index increased 0.3% over the previous month. The figure followed the 0.8% rise registered in August and slightly undershot market expectations of a 0.4% increase. The figure marks the sixth consecutive rise in the index, in which home prices have gained an accumulated 8.8%. On an annual basis, home prices are 3.0% above the same month last year, up from the 2.0% annual rise recorded in August and, in fact, the largest gain in annual terms seen in over two years. In addition, the reading marks the fourth consecutive month with an increase in annual terms, after home prices remained in negative territory for 20 consecutive months. 18 of the 20 cities surveyed posted gains over the same month last year. That said, home prices still remain 29.0% below the peak reached in July 2006. According to S&P, although September marks the start of the seasonally weak part of the year, data show that the housing market continues to improve, while adding that "with six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market".