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S&P: Home prices rose 7.3% in 2012

Home prices rose 7.3% last year, according to the latest annual report from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

S&P released the results Tuesday, showing its national home price composite rising 7.3% in 2012, while the 10- and 20-city composite indices posted annual returns of 5.9% and 6.8%, respectively.

After reporting some price decline in November, the December 10-city and 20-city S&P composite indices reported gains of at least 0.2%, finishing the year strong.

In addition, nineteen of the 20 metro statistical areas experienced year-over-year growth, with only New York prices retracting, S&P said.

"Home prices ended 2012 with solid gains," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter. In December's report all three headline composites and 19 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 9 cities and both composites posted positive monthly gains. Seasonally adjusted, there were no monthly declines across all 20 cities."

Early in 2012, the national composite hovered at a lower level before surging in the second and third quarter and then slipping slightly in the fourth, S&P noted. In addition, both composites reached bottom in March and experienced monthly and year-over-year gains in December.

However, S&P suggests the 2012 price appreciation data shows housing on the upswing, but its strongest gains may have already been reached.

On a city-by-city basis, Atlanta and Detroit posted their largest annual increases of 9.9% and 13.6%, respectively. Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis saw prices rise the most year-over-year since 2001, while Phoenix continued to soar with prices rising 23% annually and the state posting eight months of double-digit annual growth.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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