Home prices rose in 19 of the 20 U.S. cities studied by Standard & Poor's for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, falling only in New York, for the 12-month period ending in November.
The 20-city composite index rose 5.5% during the 12-month period, while the Case-Shiller's 10-city composite index rose 4.5%. Bloomberg noted that November home prices grew the most in six years, suggesting a significant market turnaround in 2012.
The recovering market of Phoenix experienced rapid price appreciation, with home prices jumping 22.8% for the 12-month period ending in November.
Prices also grew from October to November of last year.
"The November monthly figures were stronger than October, with 10 cities seeing rising prices versus seven the month before," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"Phoenix and San Francisco were both up 1.4% in November followed by Minneapolis up 1.0%. On the downside, Chicago was again amongst the weakest with a drop of 1.3% for November."
Blitzer added, "Housing is clearly recovering. Prices are rising as are both new and existing home sales. Existing home sales in November were 5 million, highest since November 2009. New home sales at 398,000 were the highest since June 2010. These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth."
But seeing strong price growth is not necessarily evidence of a full recovery, according to Josh Tashjian, principal at Centurion Real Estate Partners in New York City.
"It's a further indication of a separation between the haves and have-nots," Tashjian said. "It shows the larger cities – with a better economic basis, demand generators and foreign investment – appreciating at a rate far more rapidly than the wider U.S. Only when consumers are able to entre the market through better financing and increased job growth will we see the rest of the country catch up with the larger MSAs."