Home-Price Gains Accelerate in July as a Reminder of the Housing Bubble Stirs to Life

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Home-price gains picked up speed in July, led by some perennial hot spots and one surprise newcomer.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 5.8% in the three-month period ending in July compared with a year ago, and was up from 5.6% in the June period. Case-Shiller’s national index rose 5.9%, up from 5.8%.

As has been the pattern, Seattle led the way, with prices rising 13.5% compared to the year-ago period. Portland, another city that’s enjoyed several years of sturdy demand, was second with a 7.6% increase.

Las Vegas—which enjoyed the third-strongest rate of price gains in July—isn’t often among the best performers. Prices there rose 7.4% compared to a year ago, the seventh-straight month of accelerating increases.

But that’s cold comfort for anyone who bought a home at the height of the housing bubble a decade ago. Las Vegas prices remain about 30% lower than at the 2006 peak.

Metro Monthly change 12-month change
Atlanta 0.3% 5.3%
Boston 1.1% 6.8%
Charlotte 0.6% 6.4%
Chicago 0.7% 3.3%
Cleveland 0.8% 3.8%
Dallas 0.4% 7.3%
Denver 0.6% 7.2%
Detroit 0.8% 7.3%
Las Vegas 0.8% 7.4%
Los Angeles 1.1% 6.1%
Miami 0.6% 5.1%
Minneapolis 0.7% 5.8%
New York 0.8% 3.9%
Phoenix 0.6% 5.6%
Portland 0.6% 7.6%
San Diego 0.6% 7.1%
San Francisco 0.6% 6.7%
Seattle 0.6% 13.5%
Tampa 0.6% 7.0%
Washington 0.4% 3.3%

Meanwhile, prices in the closely-watched 20-City index edged closer to regaining their earlier peak. That index is just 2.2% below the 2006 high.

Prices are strong across the country. The smallest annual increase for any metro was 3.3%, in both Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Strong demand and lean supply are driving the price increases.