Real estate is a dismal business these days. There isn’t a lot of very good news to go around. It isn’t all bad reports on that front though. It turns out that United States of America home values are rising, if only marginally, for the last few consecutive months. The Case Shiller Price Index monitors home prices across 20 U.S. cities. Homes sold from the end of May to the end of June 2010 had an increase in rates, and also the two months before did too. Great news is hard to come by in real estate. It is one of one of the most negatively affected markets during the economic recession.

Small climb in house rates

Standard and Poor’s Case Shiller price index, which tracks real estate activity in 20 cities, has showed a gain in home prices within the second quarter of 2010. Home prices increased by 4.4 percent, according to the New York Times, over second quarter of 2010. The first quarter didn’t go so well. Prices fell 2.8 percent. Also, home prices for second quarter of 2010 are 3.6 percent higher than for second quarter of 2009. Rates rose 1 percent during July.

The fine print

Along with the rise in home prices, sales are trending downward. The homebuyer tax credit helped to keep sales going. However, sales began to fall off once the credit lapsed. Home prices are likely to fall soon, also. Nevertheless, not all is lost. Karl Case, the economist who the index is named for, as outlined by Bloomberg, thinks you will find some positives within the new data. Case believes that the market is going to take an additional year or so before it stabilizes and begins to improve.

Much better than bad media

The homebuyer tax credit was only a finger in the dam. It provided an artificial and only momentary boost to house sales and home prices. True activity in real estate can’t resume until there isn’t anything keeping activity moving upward or down. There is some consolation in that things are better than last year.

Further reading

Bloomberg

bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-31/karl-case-sees-a-lot-of-positive-stuff-in-housing-price-data-tom-keene.html

NY Times

nytimes.com/2010/09/01/business/economy/01econ.html?partner=rss and emc=rss

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