A home for sale and "under contract" on July 6 in Rockville, Md. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty…)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices rose 2.3% in June in the nation's largest cities, the fourth straight monthly increase and another sign the housing market might have turned the corner, according to new data released Tuesday.
Prices in June also were up 0.5% from a year earlier in the 20 largest cities, the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. Nationally, prices rose 6.9% in the second quarter of 2012 from the first quarter.
"We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery: monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change," said David M. Blitzer, chair of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The market may have finally turned around."
For the second straight month, all 20 cities in Case-Shiller's key index saw home prices rise in June from May. All the June increases were more than 1%.
In the Los Angeles market, prices rose 1.7% in June from the previous month, but were still down about 0.6% compared to a year earlier. L.A. was among only six cities that saw a drop from the previous year, joining San Diego, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
The price increases come amid record low mortgage rates and took place during the usually strong spring buying season. But Blitzer said the trends, which build off of other recent positive reports, look good regardless.
"We are aware that we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, but the combined positive news coming from both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices bode well for the housing market," Blitzer said.
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