Home Prices Up 3.8% Year Over Year
The latest results from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show prices up 3.8 percent year-over-year. And while that's a fairly normal annual increase compared to long-term averages, when compared to the previous month's results, it represents an acceleration. For example, S&P showed annual gains of 3.5 percent in November. Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P, says prices have now been rising for eight straight years. “The U.S. housing market continued its trend of stable growth in December,” Lazzara said. “This marks eight consecutive years of increasing housing prices (an increase which is echoed in our 10- and 20-city composites). At the national level, home prices are 59 percent above the trough reached in February 2012, and 15 percent above their pre-financial crisis peak.” But while price increases sped up at the end of last year, Lazzara says it's too soon to say whether it represents a new trend upward or is just a bump in the long-term trend.