US Cities With Rising Home Prices

March 1, 2012 by staff 

US Cities With Rising Home Prices, Florida cities up 0.2%, but rest of U.S. does worse, Home prices in Tampa and Miami turned the corner in December, rising on a seasonally adjusted basis into positive territory by the measure of an influential index.

Home prices rose 0.2 percent in Miami, where there has been a frenzy of buying in recent months, and by the same amount in Tampa. Seasonally adjusted means the data is calculated with a method that smooths out monthly and seasonal bumps.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index does not track any of Southwest Florida’s real estate markets, but prices in Manatee and Sarasota counties have been generally stable in recent months, according to other data sources.

The median sales price for a house in Sarasota was $162,000 in January, up slightly from $160,000 in December and a 17 percent increase from a year ago. In Manatee, the median fell 12.2 percent to $165,000 from $188,000 in December, but was up 6.1 percent from a year ago, according to data from the communities’ Realtors boards.

Nationally, the picture was not nearly so rosy.

Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices.

Case-Shiller showed that prices dropped in December from November in 18 of the 20 cities tracked. The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Miami and Phoenix were the only cities to show an increase on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

The declines partly reflect the typical sales slowdown that comes in the fall and winter. Still, prices fell in 19 of the 20 cities in December compared with the same month in 2010. Only Detroit posted a year-over-year increase. Prices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa dropped to their lowest points since the housing crisis began.

Nationwide, prices have fallen 34 percent nationwide since the housing bust, back to 2002 levels.

The gauge of quarterly national prices, which covers 70 percent of U.S. homes, fell to its lowest point on records dating back to 1987.

“The pick-up in the economy has simply not been strong enough to keep home prices stabilized,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee. “If anything, it looks like we might have re-entered a period of decline as we begin 2012.”

The Case-Shiller monthly index covers half of all U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The December data is the latest available.

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