Home Prices Continue Advance

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A major index of home prices reported good news for pool builders and retailers in the industry today, indicating a steady advance in the rise home prices for the 20 metropolitan regions surveyed. The report brings fresh hope to pool and spa businesses because analysis by market watchers shows sales in the leisure aquatic industry closely track the U.S. housing market. 

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed home values were up 12.1 percent on the year ending June 30, and on a nonseasonally adjusted basis, up 2.2 percent from May to June.

Home prices nationally increased 7.1 percent (nonadjusted) in the second quarter, and are back to levels seen at the beginning of 2004.

All 20 cities posted gains on a monthly and annual basis. However, in only six cities were prices rising faster this month than last, compared to ten in May. Dallas and Denver reached new all-time highs, with returns of +1.7 percent each in June. San Francisco’s rebound is the largest, up 47.0 percent from its low in March 2009. Phoenix is second, 37.1 percent above its September 2011 low.

 “National home prices rose more than 10 percent annually in each of the last two quarters,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, the monthly city-by-city data show the pace of price increases is moderating. 

“The Southwest and California have consistently led the recovery with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco posting at least 15 months of gains. Looking at the cities, New York recorded its highest monthly return since 2002. Atlanta was up the most at +3.4 percent and Washington DC had the lowest return at +1.0 percent. In terms of annual rates of change, San Francisco lost its leadership position with Las Vegas showing the highest post-recession gain of 24.9 percent. 

“Overall, the report shows that housing prices are rising but the pace may be slowing. Thirteen out of twenty cities saw their returns weaken from May to June. As we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, we should expect to see the most gains. With interest rates rising to almost 4.6 percent, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened.” 

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