National and Chicago Real Estate Prices Improving

For the first time in almost two years, home prices across the country finished the second quarter on the plus side.
According to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, all three headline composites ended the second quarter of 2012 with positive annual growth. That hasn’t happened since the summer of 2010.
woman holding a mini house with a thumbs up*The national composite was up 6.9 percent from May to June and 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 versus the second quarter of 2011.
*The 10-City Composite was up 2.2 percent from May to June and 0.1 percent annually.
*The 20-City Composite rose 2.3 percent in June and 0.5 percent compared to last year.
All 20 major metropolitan areas measured by the index saw average home prices increase from May to June, including Chicago real estate values, which rose 4.6 percent in June to mark the third best performance in the country.
Annually, however, Chicago home prices were down 1.7 percent in the last quarter compared to the same quarter the previous year. Chicago was one of only six cities where the annual rates of change were still negative — joining Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego — though each of these area’s rates still posted improvements in year-over-year home values.
Regardless of any improvements, average U.S. home prices in June of 2012 measured the same as they did back in the summer of 2003. The housing industry still has a long way to go to recover, but at least it seems as though it’s moving in the right direction.
“Home prices gained in the second quarter. In this month’s report all three composites and all 20 cities improved both in June and through the entire second quarter of 2012,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. The market may have finally turned around.”