Financial Reporter blog: USA sees biggest house prices gains in years

According to Case Shiller data, properties in the USA, on average, lost more than a third of their value in the recession, with some areas losing more than half their value.

But there are signs that the market is starting to recover, with both sales and prices rising, which is good news for any clients who are interested in property investment across the pond.

The number of homes being repossessed in the USA has fallen by 24 per cent compared with this time last year, and this is squeezing the supply of properties coming onto the market and helping to stimulate prices. According to the Case-Shiller index, the decline in the number of people who are failing to keep up with their mortgage repayments is both a reflection and a cause of a turnaround in the property market that has resulted in prices rising over the year to March by 10.9 per cent. This is the biggest rise in nearly seven years.

The housing market has been considered as a bit of a stumbling block for economic recovery in the USA and some problems do remain. But the price gains are widespread with Phoenix seeing the biggest increase at 22.5 per cent, followed by San Francisco with 22.2 per cent, and Las Vegas with 20.6 per cent. New York City had the smallest annual increase at 2.6 per cent, followed by Cleveland with 4.8 per cent and Boston with 6.7 per cent, but these figures are also considered a pretty substantial. Prices in all 20 cities posted annual gains for the third consecutive month, and 12 of the 20 saw double-digit increases.

Property prices have now returned to levels which were last seen in 2003, but are still well below their 2006 peak. The growing strength of the market, however, is starting to boost confidence.