Case-Shiller shows area home prices up 16.6% in year

Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties shot up 16.6 percent in the 12 months ending in March, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

That’s the fourth index for March showing double-digit price increases in the region. Earlier, the Core-Logic Home Price Index showed Orange County home prices increased 17.2 percent in March. Indexes by DataQuick and the California Association of Realtors both showed 27 percent home-price gains.
It also was the region’s ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains in the Case-Shiller index, and the 13th showing home prices rising one month to the next.
Prices also were up 10.9 percent in a combined Case-Shiller index of 20 leading U.S. metro areas.

The news help sparked a rally on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average surge 106 points Tuesday, a gain of 0.7 percent to 15,409.
All 20 cities posted year-over-year growth for a third straight month, and 12 of the 20 had double-digit gains. It also was the biggest percentage gain nationwide since April 2006.

Phoenix again had the largest annual increase at 22.5 percent, followed by San Francisco with 22.2 percent and Las Vegas with 20.6 percent. The L.A.-O.C. area had the sixth-highest gain among the 20 U.S. metro areas.
March’s increase for the Los-Angeles-Orange County area was the biggest year-over-year percentage gain since April 2006, and was significantly above the average 5 percent annual appreciation rate for the past 27 years.
A rally took hold in the long-depressed housing market in mid-2012 after a sharp decline in foreclosures and underwater homes on the market, cutting overall listings to lows not seen in nearly a decade.
Demand also took off, sparking bidding wars among buyers. The combination of low inventory, fewer low-priced homes on the market and rising demand drove up prices.
“Home prices continued to climb,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends: housing starts and permits, sales of new home and existing homes continue to trend higher.”
But at the same time, he added that “the larger than usual share of multifamily housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying-to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.”
Case-Shiller’s 20-city index hit bottom in March 2006 before turning around and rising in 10 of the previous 12 months. Still, the index remains 28 percent below the market peak of July 2006.
In the L.A.-O.C. area, the index was 32 percent below the region’s September 2006 price peak

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