Home prices are up versus a year ago in 16 major cities

July’s data for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed continued improvement in the housing market. The 10-City Composite was up 1.5% and 20-City Composites was up 1.6% in July over June, making it the fourth consecutive monthly increase in both indices.

The 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual returns of +0.6% and +1.2% in July 2012, up from their unchanged and +0.6% annual rates posted for June 2012. Only three cities – Cleveland, Detroit and New York – saw annual rates of change worsen in July. Dallas and Washington DC saw no change in their annual rates, with both remaining up 3.7% versus July of last year. The other 15 cities saw an improvement in this statistic.

There are now 16 cities where the annual rates of change are positive – Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington DC – improving over last month’s report of 13 such cities. The four remaining cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York – still show average home prices below their year-ago levels.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and Fiserv.

On a monthly basis, all 20 cities and both Composites rose in July over June. We have now observed four consecutive months of increasing home prices at a national level. For the third consecutive month, the 20 cities recorded positive monthly changes. It would also have been a fourth had prices not fallen by 0.6% in Detroit back in April. We are not out of the woods yet, but the latest data do point to a relatively stable housing market.

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