Home prices continue their winning streak, rising for the sixth month in a row in July, according to the Standard & Poor's 500/Case Shiller index of 20 metro areas. Prices rose in every city in the index for the third straight month.
Nationally, home prices increased 1.2 percent in July compared with a year ago; the second year-over-year gain after two years without an increase. Higher prices, along with low mortgage rates and fewer foreclosures on the market, are pointing to a housing recovery, though there are still challenges.
The Case Shiller index shows that prices are 30 percent below their 2006 peak, and approximately 1 in 5 homeowners still owes less on the mortgage than the home is worth. As prices rise, more homeowners move into positive equity, but there is still a risk of default among distressed homeowners.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency also released its index today, showing that prices rose 0.2 percent in July from a month earlier on single-family homes with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Has the price of your home risen from a year ago, and are you waiting to sell if it does?
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