Wednesday 31 July 2013

San Francisco leads surge in US house prices

The City by the Bay is the place to be for home sellers.
San Francisco led the country in the rapid rise of home prices as values across the nation increased over a year ago. 
Frisco homeowners saw sales prices increase by a stunning 24.5% compared with last year, according to data from S&P/Case-Shiller’s latest 20-City index. New York home prices rose a much more modest 3.3 percent during that time.
The numbers signal a steady recovery from the housing market crash as the overall economy improves, experts say.
Craig Lazzara, senior director for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said prices nationwide remained well below peak values, but it’s still good news.
“What has happened in the course of the past year, it’s clear that the market has bottomed and has begun to rebound,” Lazzara said.
San Francisco’s numbers, while certainly eye-catching, also highlighted the brutal fall of four years ago. Frisco home prices bottomed out in 2009, diving 46% in fewer than three years. By comparison, New York’s market had a far shorter fall. Prices here dropped about 27%.
“They went down farther, so they’re coming back a lot harder,” Lazzara said of San Francisco.
Both cities remain well below all-time highs, but values have surged across the country. In the 20-city index, sales prices increased a total of 12.2% in May compared with 2012.
West Coast locales have rebounded far faster than their Eastern counterparts, according to the index. Las Vegas followed only San Francisco in the race toward normal after taking the nation’s most prolific tumble in the housing crash. Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego all posted double-digit gains.
Denver and Dallas hit all-time highs, a first for any of the 20 cities since the financial crisis.l

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