CASE-SHILLER INDEX: Home prices up 12.1% in April

Prices for U.S. homes leaped in April, posting record monthly growth and the fastest year-over-year growth in seven years, according to S&P/Case-Shiller data released Tuesday with prices jumping a record 12.1%.

From March, prices were up 2.5% for the 20-city composite index.

All 20 cities showed positive year-over-year returns for at least the fourth consecutive month.

“The recovery is definitely broad based,” said David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee.

That should continue, despite rising interest rates and fears of further increases, he said, in part because some banks are easing credit restrictions.

Trulia shows prices rising nearly everywhere in the U.S.

Along with Phoenix and San Francisco, Atlanta and Las Vegas also posted year-over-year gains of more than 20% in April.

San Francisco was up almost 24%; Las Vegas, more than 22%: Phoenix, almost 22%; and Atlanta, nearly 21%.

In April, 19 of 20 cities posted positive returns. Detroit was the only metro where prices were flat.

While April’s numbers were strong, inventory levels are beginning to show signs of easing, and mortgage interest rates are creeping up.

“Going forward, both of these factors will help mitigate extreme price spikes caused by very strong housing demand and very low housing supply,” says Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

He says “runaway” appreciation in many of the large coastal metros that form the backbone of the Case-Shiller indices will begin to moderate.

While the Case-Shiller index measures prices for leading cities, data from real estate website Trulia shows prices rising nearly everywhere in the U.S., but even faster in cities than in the suburbs.

Based on median asking prices per square foot for all non-foreclosure listings on Trulia through May 2013, it found urban home prices up 11.3% year-over-year vs. 10.2% in the suburbs.

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