From RealTrends.com: With the Federal Reserve firmly in support the housing market continues to show signs of substantial improvement. The most widely followed measure of home prices, the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes, rose at its fastest rate since the summer of 2006 in January, data released Tuesday, March 26 showed.While prices remain nearly 30% off their pre-housing bubble peaks, a drawing down of the shadow inventory and a continued positive trend in home sales point to further strength ahead, with Barclays’ economic research team estimating home prices will gain between 6% and 7% this year. Still, investors should recognize the market remains clogged, that foreclosures in many states remain stalled by judicial processes, and that banks are sitting on thousands of properties that will have to make their way through the sales channels.
Case-Shiller data for January showed the 10-city composite jumped 7.3% over the past 12 months, while the 20-city index surged 8.1%, its fastest levels since before the housing collapse. On a yearly basis, all cities posted gains in January while 19 of the 20 showed acceleration (Detroit slowed down but still posted double-digit increases).