U.S. home prices increased 0.5 percent in June 2012 compared to the same month last year, marking the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010.
All 20 cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index rose in June from May, the second consecutive month in which every city posted month-over-month gains. All but two cities (Charlotte and Dallas) showed stronger gains in June than May.
Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta recorded the biggest one-month gains:
"We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change," said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P's index committee. "The market may have finally turned around."
Data released last week by the National Association of Realtors showed existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent in July to an annual rate of 4.47 million units. Nationally, the median price of resold homes was $187,300, up almost 10 percent from a year earlier. That's the biggest one-year jump in six-and-a-half years.
A growing body of evidence in recent months has pointed to better days ahead for the nation's long-suffering housing market. Glimmers of optimism have appeared in a wide range of data showing increasing sales of existing homes: homes selling faster than in the past, an uptick in residential construction, stabilizing prices in many areas, falling rental vacancy rates and historically-low interest rates that have made purchasing more realistic for many would-be buyers.
The increases, which aren't seasonally-adjusted, include the impact of seasonal buying, fueled by near-record low mortgage rates and prices sitting about one-third lower than the 2006 housing bubble. But the fact that national prices rose for the third straight month is reason for optimism.
The S&P/Case-Shiller monthly index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.