Don't believe the housing recovery is underway? Here is more evidence that home prices are rising.
A report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, released Thursday, shows that U.S. home prices experienced the largest quarterly increase since 2005. Prices rose 1.8 percent in the second quarter, compared to the first three months of the year. They rose about 3 percent compared to the same period last year.
You may think that's an insignificant change, but it's not. At least not when you consider how depressing this report was for several years. Until the third quarter of last year, the report showed prices declining every single quarter since 2007. That's when prices increased slightly but they fell again in late 2011.
It's the first time since mid-2007 that prices increased for two consecutive quarters.
"Although some housing markets are still facing significant challenges, house prices were quite strong in most areas in the second quarter," said FHFA principal economist Andrew Leventis. "The strong appreciation may partially reflect fewer homes sold in distress, but declining mortgage rates and a modest supply of homes available for sale likely account for most of the price increase."
The metro areas that experienced the biggest jump in prices include Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Tampa.
The top three states where prices increased the most during the last 12 months were Arizona, Idaho and Florida. I guess you can say these states are lucky, but not when you look back five years ago. Take Arizona, for example, where home prices increased 12.93 percent in the last year but are still more than 41 percent lower than they were five years ago. Florida is in a similar situation.
Now, here is a lucky state: North Dakota, where prices are up more than 17 percent compared to 2007. What's in North Dakota? Farms, cows and a lot of oil. There is an oil boom in the region and that's contributing to the surge in real estate values, as the oil industry generally offers high-paying jobs.
So if you want a high-paying job in a booming real estate market, you know where to move to.
Me? I'll stick with Florida's foreclosures and hurricanes.
Follow me on Twitter @Polyanad