Home prices up again in Seattle area, report shows
Prices in the Seattle metro area were up 3.1 percent in July compared with a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. It was the third straight monthly year-over-year gain, and the biggest increase since the housing market collapsed five years ago.
Seattle Times business reporter
Home prices in the Seattle metropolitan area continued to rebound in July, according to one closely watched measure.
Prices were up 3.1 percent from July 2011, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index.
It was the third straight monthly year-over-year gain, and the biggest increase since the housing market collapsed five years ago.
Indexes for Seattle and 19 other cities were released Tuesday. The Seattle metropolitan area includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
Most other cities also saw prices bounce back in July, the most recent month for which information is available. The 20-city composite index was up 1.2 percent, and prices rose in 16 of the 20 cities compared with the same month last year.
Prices also were up from June to July in all 20 cities — 1.4 percent for Seattle, 1.6 percent for the composite index. It was Seattle’s fifth straight month-over-month gain.
“The news on home prices in this report confirms recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“Single-family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing,” he said.
“All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue.”
Compared with the other 19 cities, Seattle’s July price changes were in the middle of the pack. Ten cities had bigger year-over-year gains, led by Phoenix’s 16.6 percent increase.
Nine saw larger monthly increases, with Minneapolis first, with a 3.7 percent gain.
There even was a silver lining for hard-hit Atlanta. After nine straight months of double-digit, year-over-year drops, prices only fell 9.9 percent in July.
The Seattle area’s Case-Shiller score for July was 141.78, meaning prices were 41.78 percent higher than in January 2000. It was the region’s highest score since October 2010. The all-time high, 192.30, came in July 2007.
The region’s lowest score since the real-estate bubble burst, 128.99, came this February. Since then prices have risen nearly 10 percent.
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