There have been no shortage of "housing market" stories lately. After sinking through much of late-last decade, home values slowly stabilized into mid-2011. By October 2011, values appeared to have bottomed.
Today, nearly five-and-one-half years after the April 2007 housing market peak, home prices are finally showing their ability to rebound. Over the past 12 months, a bevy of housing market data highlights broad-based market growth.
For example, as compared to August 2011, Existing Home Sales are up 9.3 percent nationally; New Home Sales are up 27.7 percent nationally; and home inventories have slipped to multi-year lows in Atlanta and throughout the country.
Furthermore, multiple home value trackers show home prices rising both regionally and nationwide.
Last week, the government's Federal Housing Finance Agency released its Home Price Index (HPI) -- a metric which tracks how home values change between sequential property sales. HPI showed home values up 3.7% nationally.
Another home valuation tracker -- the S&P Case-Shiller Index -- has shown home values to be rising, too.
As compared to one year ago, the private-sector metric puts home prices higher by 1.2 percent via its 20-city composite. 20 cities remains a small subset of the broader U.S. population, but, in looking for a trend, it's clear that the trend is a positive one.
Some of the Case-Shiller Index highlights from its most recent report :
- All 20 tracked cities showed home price gains between June 2012 and July 2012
- The previously hard-hit city of Phoenix now leads the nation with a 16.6% annual gain
- Versus their respective lows, San Francisco and Detroit are up 20.4% and 19.7%
In addition, on a 12-month basis, only four cities are showing negative home value growth -- Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City.
The Case-Shiller Index is a national index, though, and specifically does not report on valuation changes in specific U.S. cities and their neighborhoods. For local real estate data, make sure to speak with a local real estate agent instead.