US Case-Shiller Annual Home Price Index Breaks Above 2006 Highs

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index was up in September.

From August to September, Greater Boston prices were up 0.2 percent, while year-over-year, prices were up 4.3 percent, both of which trailed the national average and most large metro areas (but were positive nonetheless). Meanwhile, in cities like Miami, Tampa, Phoenix and Las Vegas, home prices have risen but remain significantly below their record highs.

Since then, the housing market has been gradually recovering behind steady job growth and low mortgage rates. The dwindling supply nationally has set off bidding wars and pushed up prices at a rapid pace.

According to the S&P Case Shiller national home price index, home prices plummeted 27.4 percent from a peak reached in July 2006 through February 2012. Seattle; Portland, Oregon, and Denver had the biggest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities.

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Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans vice president, dismissed fears the housing market was experiencing another bubble. The steady rise in home values, which began in 2013, has been good news for underwater borrowers.

It appears that the transitional aspect of September went beyond the change from summer to autumn-in the housing world, September also saw a transition from high home prices to even higher home prices.

Despite the milestone, Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia, said that "crossing this threshold is largely symbolic". But this time economists say the housing market is growing in a sustainable way.

It isn't smart to confuse this full recovery in housing prices with a full recovery in the housing market overall.

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"This was a very strong offseason compared to normal", he said. Local home prices stand at about 77 percent of their 2006 peak, according to Case-Shiller.

After seasonal adjustment, the 10-city composite posted a 0.2% month-over-month increase while the 20-city composite reported a 0.4% month-over-month increase. But despite the steady build up to this the past few months, the new high isn't necessarily a win.

A report out Tuesday showed that the national index rose by 5.5% year-on-year in September.

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