Real Estate

S&P/Case-Shiller: Home prices post strong gains

Home prices inched upward, increasing by 10.2% in the first quarter of 2013 over the first quarter of 2012, according to data through March 2013 released Tuesday in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The 10- and 20-city composites showed average home prices increase 10.3% and 10.9%, respectively. All 20 cities reported positive year-over-year growth.

In the first quarter of 2013, the national composite rose by 1.2%. On a monthly basis, the 10- and 20-city composites both rose 1.4%.

Charlotte, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Tampa posted monthly increases, recording their largest month-over-month gains in more than seven years. 

“Home prices continued to climb,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

He added, “Home prices in all 20 cities posted annual gains for the third month in a row. Twelve of the 20 saw prices rise at double-digit annual growth. The National Index and the 10- and 20-City Composites posted their highest annual returns since 2006.”

Phoenix had the largest annual increase at 22.5% followed by San Francisco with 22.2% and Las Vegas with 20.6%, the report noted.

The weakest annual price gains were seen in New York, Cleveland and Boston even though all three cities posted positive results.

As of the first quarter, average home prices across the nation are back at their mid-2003 levels. As a result, the National Index was up 1.2% over the fourth quarter of 2012 and 10.2% above the first quarter of 2012.

“Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends: housing starts and permits, sales of new home and existing homes continue to trend higher,” Blizter said. 

He added, “At the same time, the larger than usual share of multifamily housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying-to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.” 

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