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Home prices up, buyer demand shifting

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 11:22:38 AM

The housing market has recently delivered more good news. Some homeowners with residential financing may have been underwater on their mortgages, but higher prices means more equity and a growing recovery.

Prices were up in many major metro areas across the country for July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The report looks at 10- and 20-City composites, and overall increases of 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent were recorded, respectively. 

July marks at least four consecutive months with an improvement, and prices are up more than 12 percent over the past year.

However, residential financing rates might have an effect in the near future, although current consumer sentiment is solid.

"Following the increase in mortgage rates beginning last May, applications for mortgages have dropped, suggesting that rising interest rates are affecting housing," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The Fed's announcement last week that QE3 bond buying will continue for the time being may have only a limited, though favorable, impact on housing."

Additionally, national homebuilder KB Home reported third quarter gains for new construction, another sign that the market is trending positively. Total revenues for the company increased 29 percent, while the number of delivered homes jumped up 23 percent.