U.S. home prices rose solidly in June, another sign of health in the housing market.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 5 percent from a year earlier, a slight improvement on May’s 4.9 percent increase, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Prices rose 10.2 percent in Denver, 9.5 percent in San Francisco and 8.2 percent in Dallas. Chicago posted the smallest gain, just 1.4 percent.
No markets in Southwest Florida are included on the list, but the Sunshine State is represented by Tampa and Miami, which saw year-over-year gains of 5.4 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
Data from another source shows prices are up in Southwest Florida, too. The state trade group Florida Realtors reported that homes in the Sarasota-Manatee region sold for a median of $231,250 in July, up 5 percent over the year. Homes in Charlotte County traded for a median of $177,000, 16.5 percent ahead of July 2014.
Strong sales have been lifting prices.
The National Association of Realtors said last week that sales of existing homes rose 2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the fastest pace since February 2007. The Commerce Department reported last week that U.S. builders started work in July on single-family homes at the fastest pace since late December 2007, the month the Great Recession began.
“The missing piece in the housing picture has been housing starts and sales,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Dow Jones Index Committee. “These have changed for the better in the last few months.”
Still, some uncertainties weigh on the housing market. The Federal Reserve is considering whether to raise short-term interest rates, a move that might send mortgage rates higher. For now, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remains below 4 percent. Blitzer said a modest Fed rate increase “won’t derail housing.”
Housing is also drawing strength from a healthier labor market. U.S. unemployment is at 5.3 percent, a seven-year low.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The June figures are the latest available.
— Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.