Home prices rose 3 percent in September compared to last year according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, further proof that the housing market is on the rebound.
In Charlotte, home prices fell in September compared to August, ending a six-month streak of consecutive gains. On an annual basis, however, local home prices rose 3.5 percent compared with September 2011, supporting local experts belief that the housing market is steadily improving.
Nationally, U.S. home prices rose 0.3 percent in September from August.
Thirteen of the 20 cities tracked by the index posted monthly gains in September and two cities were flat. Charlotte, with a monthly drop of 0.3 percent, was among five cities that posted declines, according to seasonally non-adjusted figures. The others were Boston, Chicago, New York and Cleveland, which posted the indexs worst monthly drop of 0.9 percent.
The index committee attributed some of the drop to seasonal changes, noting the housing market was entering its traditionally slow time.
It is safe to say that we are now in the midst of a recovery in the housing market, Index committee chairman David Blitzer said in a statement.
The report is the latest to shed a positive light on the housing market.
Earlier this month, CoreLogic released its home price index showing U.S. prices rose 5 percent in September, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. In the Charlotte-Rock Hill-Gastonia metropolitan area, single-family home prices increased 3.9 percent, or 2.7 percent excluding distressed sales.
Charlotte had been posting regular monthly gains in the Case-Shiller data, rising 0.6 percent in August over July.
Nationally, reports have showed improvements in new home construction, home-builder confidence and existing home sales.
The biggest gainer in Tuesdays Case-Shiller report was Phoenix, where prices soared more than 20 percent in September compared to the same time last year.
While the housing market is improving, home prices remain well off their 2006 peaks. In some cases, prices are 30 percent below what they were. There are also concerns mortgages will remain difficult for borrowers to get, despite historically low interest rates.
The widely watched Case-Shiller report lags two months. It is one of the most precise measures of home values because it tracks repeat sales of houses. Like stock market indices, it reflects changes in price, not an actual price.