U.S. single-family home prices rose in November, building on a string of gains that points to a housing market that is on the mend, data from a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.6 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with economists’ forecasts.
Prices on a non-adjusted basis slipped 0.1 percent. The non-adjusted numbers showed prices fell in about half of the cities covered by the survey, with the winter months typically a weak period for housing, the survey said.
“Housing is clearly recovering”, David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indexes, said in a statement.
Prices in the 20 cities rose 5.5 percent year over year.
It was the 10th month in a row that prices have increased, the longest string of gains since before the market started to turn down in 2006.
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in November from a year earlier by the most in more than six years, indicating the U.S. housing rebound is gaining ground.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5.5 percent from November 2011, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006, a report showed today in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.6 percent advance.
Mortgage rates near a record low are propelling demand for real estate that’s outpacing the available supply, a sign prices will keep strengthening. Home-equity gains and an improving job market may help to put a floor under Americans’ confidence and spending, the biggest part of the economy, cushioning the hit from a higher payroll tax that began in January.
“The rise in home prices is a demand-supply story that should continue this year,” Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “Inventories are low, so that’s good news for home prices. Higher prices will also boost confidence and spending overall.”