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U.S. Home Prices Up for Sixth Consecutive Month

by Chicago Agent

By Kerri Ann Panchuk

U.S. home prices rose 3.6 percent in the third quarter when compared to year ago levels, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Prices studied from the national composite index also rose 2.2 percent from the second quarter of 2012.

The S&P’s 10- and 20-City Composite indices posted annual price increases of 2.1 percent and 3 percent, respectively. From August to September, both indices rose by 0.3 percent.

Out of the 20 metros studied for the survey, 17 of them saw higher home prices in September when compared to a month earlier. The major metro of New York saw no changes in home prices, while Detroit and Washington D.C. had a notable, but slight decline in their annual rates, S&P said.

“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.”

Phoenix saw a 20.4 percent increase in annual prices, while another hardest-hit city, Atlanta, finally reversed 26 months of annual declines with a 0.1 percent annual rate increase in September. The cities of Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and New York saw modest home price drops when comparing September to August.

The S&P report is in line with a new study from LPS, which noted Monday that home prices year-over-year increased 3.6 percent in September.

Though he did highlight the traditional weakness of home prices at this time of the year, Blitzer said housing, on the whole, is improving.

“We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year,” he said. “The headline figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, showed five cities with lower prices in September versus only one in August; in the seasonally adjusted data the pattern was reversed: one city fell in September versus two in August. Despite the seasons, housing continues to improve.”


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