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Good News for Housing: Home Prices Continue Positive Trend

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The Case-Shiller indexes of home prices increased again when compared to the previous month or the previous year. Both the 10-city and 20-city seasonally-adjusted (SA) indexes rose 1 percent and 0.9 percent respectively from May to June 2012. This is the fifth straight month for steady increases in the SA indexes. Since January, the 10-city and 20-city indexes have risen 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent respectively. All but two metro areas also showed positive SA May to June changes. Dallas and Charlotte declined 0.1 percent.

The year-over-year changes were also much more encouraging than previous reports. At 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively, the 10-city and 20-city annual changes were the first positive numbers since the end of the home buyer tax credit in 2010. Thirteen of the 20 metro areas experienced year-over-year increases and the seven that saw negatives were smaller (less decline) than the previous year-over-year comparisons.

Some of the positive news is the result of adjustments from extremes. The largest peak to trough drop in home prices among the 20 metros was in Miami where prices fell 64 percent from December 2006 to April 2011. From June 2011 to June 2012, prices increased 4.4 percent, third best increase of the 20 metro areas in the index. Charlotte had one of the smallest total falls at 26 percent from August 2007 to February 2012 while the most recent year-over-year change was 0.8 percent, the smallest of the positive annual increases. The relationship is mild as can be seen in the linear approximation on the graph, but does suggest some relationship between maximum decline and recent recovery.

As economic curing continues across a broader segment of the country and the inventory of both existing and new homes dwindles, NAHB expects modest home prices increases to continue with some stronger improvement in the places that had the largest declines.

This article was originally published on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing. View it here.

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