The Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released today, showed an uptick in prices of 0.5 percent from June 2011. All 20 cities surveyed by the index also rose in June from May, the second consecutive time in which every city demonstrated monthly leaps. The largest monthly gains came from Detroit (6%), Minneapolis (4.8%) and Chicago (4.6%). Thirteen of the 20 cities also demonstrated year-over-year gains, with Phoenix posting the biggest annual positive change of 13.9 percent. Atlanta had the steepest year-over-year drop, with prices down 12 percent.
The slow recovery of the housing market has been partially fueled by low mortgage rates and more affordable home prices, which have boosted sales of both new and resale properties.
S&P’s broad national index, which is published quarterly, was up 1.2 percent from the second quarter of 2011 and up 6.9 percent compared to the first three months of the year.
In another sign that housing is on the mend, Toll Brothers Inc., the largest luxury home developer in the US, reported better-than-expected profits and an increase in revenue for the third quarter. The average price of the homes that the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company built in the quarter reached $576,000, up from $557,000 in the previous three months.
Decreasing foreclosures and more access to credit would strengthen the industry’s recovery, according to Bloomberg.
“The price gains are becoming broader,” Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, told Bloomberg. “This is certainly a positive step,” he said, “but we still have a long way to go.”