Home prices continue upward trend

The S&P/Case Shiller Index, a bellwether for the new housing market, reported that all 20 cities that it tracks on its home-price composites recorded positive monthly changes for the third consecutive month. Excluding a slight dip for Detroit last April, the composites are on a four-month roll for home price increases. 

The average home price in July 2012 grew by 1.5% for the 10-city composite and by 1.6% for the 20-city composite versus June 2012.

Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and both composites posted better annual returns in July as compared with June 2012. Dallas and Washington, D.C., saw no change in their annual rates; and Cleveland, Detroit and New York saw their rates worsen in July, with respective returns of +0.4%, +6.2% and -2.6%. After nine consecutive months of double-digit annual declines, Atlanta finally improved to a single-digit decline of 9.9%.