Home prices end Q2 with positive growth

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- All three headline home-price composites ended the second quarter of 2012 with positive annual growth rates for the first time since the summer of 2010, according to data through June 2012 released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The national composite was up 1.2% in the second quarter of 2012 versus the second quarter of 2011, and was up 6.9% versus the first quarter of 2012.

The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective annual returns of +0.1% and +0.5% in June 2012. Month-over-month, average home prices in the 10-City Composite were up 2.2% and in the 20-City Composite were up 2.3% versus May. For the second consecutive month, all 20 cities and both Composites recorded positive monthly gains. Eighteen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted better annual returns in June as compared to May 2012 – only Charlotte and Dallas saw a deceleration in their annual rates.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 1.2% gain in the second quarter of 2012 over the second quarter of 2011. In June 2012, the 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual increases of 0.1% and 0.5%, respectively.

"Home prices gained in the second quarter," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "In this month's report all three composites and all 20 cities improved both in June and through the entire second quarter of 2012.  All 20 cities and both monthly Composites rose for the second consecutive month.  It would have been a third consecutive month had we not seen home prices fall in Detroit back in April.

"The National Composite rose by 6.9% in the second quarter alone, and is up 1.2% from the same quarter of 2011.  The 10- and 20-City Composites closely mimic these results; the 10-City was up 5.8% over the quarter and the 20-City was up 6.0%.  The two Composites also entered positive territory on an annual basis, up 0.1% and 0.5%, respectively.

"Only two cities – Charlotte and Dallas – saw annual rates of change worsen in June. The other 18 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, and 13 of these had a positive trend.  There were only six cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego – where the annual rates of change were still negative. Boston's annual rate was flat.  We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change.  The market may have finally turned around.

"The regions showed positive results for June. All 20 of the cities saw average home prices rise in June over May and all were by at least 1.0%.  Detroit was up the most, +6.0%, and Charlotte the least, +1.0%. The Composites showed the same increases as last month – the 10-City rose by 2.2% in June and the 20-City by 2.3%.   We are aware that we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, but the combined positive news coming from both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices bode well for the housing market."

As of the second quarter of 2012, average home prices across the United States are back at their early 2003 levels.  At the end of the second quarter of 2012, the National Index was up 6.9% over the first quarter of 2012 and 1.2% above the second quarter of 2011.

As of June 2012, average home prices across the United States for the 10-City and 20-City Composites are back to their summer 2003 levels. Measured from their June/July 2006 peaks, the decline for both Composites is approximately 31% through June 2012. For both Composites, the June 2012 levels are approximately 6% above their recent lows seen in March 2012.

In June 2012, all 20 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly gains. Detroit recorded the highest monthly increase at 6.0% over its May 2012 level.  In terms of annual rates of change, Phoenix had the highest, up 13.9%, and Atlanta the lowest, down 12.1%, versus June 2011.

Atlanta, Detroit and Las Vegas continued to post average home prices below their January 2000 levels.  With June's report, Cleveland finally moved past its January 2000 base level to a 101.58 print.

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