U.S. home prices rose in August from a year earlier at the fastest pace since February 2006–the peak of the housing bubble– according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report.
The 20-City Composite Home Price Index showed home prices rose 12.8% price, exceeding economists’ expectations. All 20 markets posted positive annual increases, with 13 logging double-digit gains.
Las Vegas and California continue to lead the way with year-over-year increases of over 20-percent. In August, Las Vegas experienced its highest annual rate since March 2005, totaling 29.2 percent. Los Angeles increase d 21.7 percent. Dallas had the highest annual gain in 13 years; Denver and San Francisco saw record increases that hadn’t happened since 2001.
Average home prices across the country are back to their mid-2004 levels, according to S&P/Case-Shiller, and still roughly 20% below their June/July 2006 peak. Since hitting its low in March 2012, the 20-city composite has since climbed 22.7%.
According to Bloomberg, mortgage rates went up in August as well. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.58-percent in the week ended August 22, which marks the highest level since July 2011.
The chart above depicts the annual returns of the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices. In August 2013, the 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual increases of 12.8%.