US house prices rise for fifth month in a row


US house prices rose for the fifth month in a row in August, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.

The firm's latest report shows that the American property market is continuing to recover from the recession, with the average price of property in 20 major cities across the country rising by 0.9  per cent.

"The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market," commented S&P spokesman David Blitzer.

Phoenix led the growth, according to the index, with house prices leaping by a staggering 18.8 per cent compared to August last year – the fourth consecutive month of price increases in the double-digits.

Detroit and Miami also performed well, posting annual price rises of 7.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

"News on home prices confirms other good news about housing," added Blitzer. "Single family housing starts are 43% ahead of last year's pace, existing and new home sales are also up, the inventory of homes for sale continues to drop and consumer mortgage default rates are reaching new lows. Further consumer confidence continues to rise. Even as we end the seasonally strong home buying period, the statistics are positive. For the fifth time in a row, both Composites had monthly gains. Home prices in Seattle fell modestly in August, but other than that the 20 cities have also seen home prices generally improve since April."