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Home Price Growth at 6-Year High, According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

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home_price_growthData through January 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased 7.3% for the 10-City Composite and 8.1% for the 20-City Composite in the 12 months ending in January 2013.

All 20 cities posted year-over-year gains with Phoenix leading the way with a gain of 23.2%. Nineteen of the 20 cities showed acceleration in their year-over-year returns. Despite posting a positive double-digit annual return, Detroit was the only city to show a deceleration. After 28 months of negative annual returns, New York came into positive territory in January.

The two headline composites posted their highest year-over-year increases since summer 2006,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst.

“After more than two years of consecutive year-over-year declines, New York reversed trend and posted a positive return in January. The Southwest (Phoenix and Las Vegas) plus San Francisco posted the highest annual increases; they were also among the hardest hit by the housing bust. Atlanta and Dallas recorded their highest year-over-year gains.

“Economic data continues to support the housing recovery. Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013. Despite a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25% year-over-year. Steady employment and low borrowing rates pushed inventories down to their lowest post-recession levels.”

As of January 2013, average home prices across the United States are back to their autumn 2003 levels for both the 10-City and 20-City Composites. Measured from their June/July 2006 peaks, the decline for both Composites is approximately 29-30% through January 2013. The January 2013 levels for both Composites are approximately 8-9% from their dip in early 2012.

In January 2013, nine cities — Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa — and both Composites posted positive monthly returns. Dallas was the only MSA where the level remained flat.

In terms of annual rates of change, all 20 cities as well as both Composites posted positive change. Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Francisco were the eight MSAs to report double-digit annual returns.

Additional content on the housing market may also be found on S&P Dow Jones Indices’ housing blog: www.housingviews.com.

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