Case-Shiller: Home prices continue steady march upward

Slowly but steadily upward for SoCal housing prices, report says

Home prices in metro Los Angeles have climbed 5.8% in the last 12 months, according to a closely watched housing report out Tuesday morning. Nationally, prices are up 4.2%.

The Case-Shiller Index reports that prices in the Los Angeles area climbed 0.8% in February compared to a month prior, and now sit at their highest level since December 2007. Other local measures suggest those increases have continued in March and April, as more buyers step into the market.

Still, housing is a long way from the heady days of two years ago, when double-digit annual price gains were the norm. Many economists say that's a healthy thing; buyers are better able to keep up. Still, there are concerns that prices are again climbing faster than incomes in many parts of the country.

"Home prices are continuing the familiar narrative, showing modest annual gains and slow, healthy, monthly increases," said Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans. "Employment remains one of the most watched issues impacting the housing market as there are concerns of price increases outpacing wage growth."

Of the 20 cities Case-Shiller tracks, the hottest right now are Denver and San Francisco, up 10% and 9.8% year-over-year, respectively. Washington, D.C., is the slowest market, with prices there up just 1.4% since last year.

Keep an eye on housing and real estate in Southern California. Follow me on Twitter at @bytimlogan

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