One of the big stories of 2012 has been the recovery in home prices across the nation.

Home prices apparently bottomed in the spring: even if there is some considerable seasonal weakness this winter, it seems unlikely that home prices will fall below their lows of last winter.

The S&P/Case-Shiller indices get the most press, but other home price indices have been around longer and all have shown prices increasingly nationally.

The report released today is for October. Since Case-Shiller is three-month composite, there are sales in today’s data from August, September, and October.

From the press release:

Data through October 2012, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed home prices rose 4.3% in the 12 months ending in October in the 20-City Composite, out-distancing analysts’ forecasts. Anticipated seasonal weakness appeared as twelve of the 20 cities and both Composites posted monthly declines in home prices in October.

The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded respective annual returns of +3.4% and +4.3% in October 2012 – larger than the +2.1% and +3.0% annual rates posted for September 2012. In nineteen of the 20 cities, annual returns in October were higher than September. Chicago and New York were the only two cities with negative annual returns in October. Phoenix home prices rose for the 13th month in a row. San Diego was second best with nine consecutive monthly gains.

Please note, these numbers are not seasonally adjusted. As I indicate above, we should expect to see seasonal weakness — as always — as sales lag in the winter. So while the monthly changes are important to look at, it’s really the annual change that reflects the state of the market.

And right now the year-over-year increases are improving.

I’ll be back with more at some point soon.

More from the press release:

Picture 109

Picture 108

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