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More than half of Americans, 55% to be exact, are confident that home prices will go up over the next 12 months, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Of those surveyed, 27% believe home prices will remain unchanged, while 9% anticipate a decline in home prices.

“It seems like Americans’ love affair with real estate has returned,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “But there are still some clear headwinds, including rising mortgage rates, stubbornly high unemployment and the relatively low U.S. household savings rate.”

But it appears these headwinds may have already passed. The latest Homes.com local market index revealed monthly improvement in all 100 markets tracked in July — an increase from 87 markets the month before. According to the report, part of the weakness in recent months can be attributed to rising interest rates, which is likely having an impact on affordability.

The report from Homes.com pointed toward strong success in the West, who saw an index percentage change of 4.98% from June to July. Following closely was the South, which saw a monthly change of 3.29%. The Midwest and Northeast had index percentage improvements of 1.93% and 1.45%, respectively.

The latest Lender Processing Services price index released Monday also pointed toward continued improvement in home prices. The home price index was up 0.6% on a monthly basis in July, with the average price of a home hitting $231,000.

The July numbers are up 8.7% year-over-year, compared to the home price average of $212,000 last July. However, the index is 14.7% below the June 2006 peak of $270,000.

On a monthly basis, Florida saw the biggest increase in home prices, up 1.0% from June. New York came in second with a 0.8% increase, while Texas followed with an increase of 0.6%. California and New Jersey rounded off the top-5 list, both with 0.5% improvement.

Both the Federal Housing Administration House Price Index and the S&P Case-Shiller HPI will be released on Tuesday. These reports will give further insight into the direction of home prices in the country.

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