Home Prices Rise Sixth Month in a Row

U.S. home prices rose again for the sixth straight month, signaling that the housing recovery is taking hold, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

"With six months of consistently rising home prices, it is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices in a statement.

The national composite also increased 3.6 percent in the third quarter of this year from the same period of 2011.

In September, the 10 and 20-city composites had increasing annual returns of 2.1 percent and 3 percent respectively. However, Detroit and Washington, D.C. had slight declines in their annual returns and New York had no change.

Thirteen of the 20 cities recorded positive monthly returns. Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and New York had a slight drop in home prices in September from August. Meanwhile, Tampa and Washington D.C. remained unchanged.

Blitzer noted that the market is entering the "seasonally weak part of the year," as sellers and buyers tend to slow activity in the colder weather. The Case-Shiller headline numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Here are some other housing markets that had significant changes:

  • Phoenix continues to lead the recovery with a 20.4 percent annual growth rate.
  • Atlanta has finally reversed 26 months of annual declines with a 0.1 percent annual rate as observed in September's housing data.
  • Chicago and New York were the only two cities to post annual declines of 1.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, and also fell 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent month-over-month.
  • Atlanta, Detroit and Las Vegas remain the only three cities with average home prices below their January 2000 levels.