“Market may have finally turned around,” home price data indicates

Home prices are improving throughout the U.S., according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released today. Nationally, prices rose 0.5 percent in June from the prior-year month and 2.3 percent since May. It was the second consecutive month all 20 cities tracked by the index reported monthly gains. Further, 18 of the 20 markets showed better annual returns in June than they did in May.

Only Charlotte and Dallas saw their annual rates decline in June, both by just 0.1 percent.

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“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,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

On a quarterly basis, home prices in the second quarter were 6.9 percent higher than they were in the first quarter of 2012, and 1.2 percent greater than they were in the same quarter a year ago.

Six cities — New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego – showed negative annual returns, but the price drops in those cities were narrowing. Atlanta experienced the worst year-over-year change, losing 12.1 percent.

In Miami, prices increased 1.6 percent in June over May and by 4.4 percent from June 2011. – Christopher Cameron