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Home Prices Raise the Roof

Home prices increased by 1.6% in July from the previous month, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (opens PDF) released today. For the third month in a row, housing value continued to rise across all 20 cities included in the analysis.

This news follows on the heels of three additional positive housing macro reports. Homebuilder confidence, housing starts, and existing home sales all jumped in the past month.

Of the 20 cities listed in the report, Atlanta fared the worst in the past year, with home prices dropping 9.9%. On the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix home prices have increased an average 16.6% in the past 12 months.

Overall, home prices recorded a steady 1.2% gain in the 12 months ending in July this year. Compared to 2009 depreciation near 20%, this small positive gain serves as another indicator that the real estate market may finally be on the rebound.

"The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "All in all, we are more optimistic about housing."

You can follow Fool contributor Justin Loiseau on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.

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  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2012, at 1:40 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:

    I don't know if home prices "are on the rebound" but there will be a bottom, and perhaps this is it, or perhaps not. People do have to live somewhere.

    I'm of the opinion that housing prices will begin to increase the way they once did, and that is to appreciate at the rate of inflation.

    Perhaps that's the real impediment. Purchasing one's home is no longer viewed as an opportunity to gain access to a cash cow.

    As a homeowner, I can say that I am concerned for those who are paying rent and avoiding the opportunity that owning one's abode offers. After listening to 5 years of angst, I do sometimes think that I might be out of the mainstream in America. I own a home, live below my means, avoid all debt, and save for the future. I work hard at this and I work hard at educating myself as an "investor" and spend money to do so. Including Fool services, Quicken, M* and reading an awful lot. Then there are the spreadsheets, etc.!

    I then "put my money where my mouth is" and attempt to put into practice what I have learned.

    However, in housing as with all things, "buy versus rent" is a personal decision. To buy is to take a stake in one's future and to put some "skin in the game." Perhaps that's the real issue in 2012. Perhaps it's about taking a stand for one's future and to say 'I'll do what I need to so as to make this happen.' This is apparently not for everyone.

    My only financial request to the grown children is this: "Do the numbers, review your employment situation and then do what works. Also be aware that you have limited financial resources, and how you deploy them today will make a difference in your future."

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