U.S. home prices rose in July for the fourth straight month to reach their highest level in nearly two years, according to an index released recently.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite posted a 1.6% increase in July, following 2.3% advance in June.
Although home prices have risen 1.2% over the past 12 months, they are still about 30% lower compared to the market’s peak in 2006, the Case-Shiller index found.
In a separate report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said house prices rose 0.2% in July after a 0.6% increase in June. The FHFA index is constructed differently and only includes one month of data, unlike three months for the Case-Shiller report.
“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single-family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “All in all, we are more optimistic about housing.”
Earlier this month the Federal Reserve unleashed an aggressive stimulus program in which it will buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities a month until the job market sees sustained improvement.The Fed’s announcement pushed mortgage interest rates to new record lows.
The rise in prices reflect growing demand for new and pre-owned homes. Ultra-low interest rates make owning a home more affordable, attracting more buyers.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:50 am
Nancy Low | Category: Buyers, News, Sellers

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