Home prices rise for sixth straight month

Housing price data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for September 2012 showed that existing-home prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2012. The national composite was up 3.6% versus the third quarter of 2011, and increased 2.2% versus the second quarter of 2012.

In September 2012, the 10- and 20-city composites showed annual returns of +2.1% and +3.0%. Average home prices in the 10- and 20-city composites were each up by 0.3% in September versus August 2012. Seventeen of the 20 MSAs and both composites posted better annual returns in September versus August 2012; Detroit and Washington, D.C., recorded a slight deceleration in their annual rates, and New York saw no change.

“Home prices rose in the third quarter, marking the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “In September’s report all three headline composites and 17 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 13 cities and both composites posted positive monthly gains. 

“We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year [and] despites the seasons,housing continues to improve,” Blitzer continued. “Phoenix continues to lead the recovery with a +20.4% annual growth rate. Atlanta has finally reversed 26 months of annual declines with a +0.1% annual rate as observed in September’s housing data. At the other end of the spectrum, Chicago and New York were the only two cities to post annual declines of 1.5% and 2.3%, respectively, and were also down 0.6% and 0.1% month-over-month.”

“Thirteen of the 20 cities recorded positive monthly returns; Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and New York saw modest drops in home prices in September as compared with August; Tampa and Washington, D.C., were flat. 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.”