Home Prices Up

From a Wall Street Journal story about home price increases, especially in the South and West:

While formerly hard-hit places are thriving, the entire U.S. housing market is far better off than it was a year ago. Nationally, the median existing-home price rose 12.2% in the second quarter from a year ago, to $203,500. That was the strongest year-over-year gain since 2005, during the throes of the pre-recession real-estate bubble.

The fastest growth was the West, with 18.2% price growth, followed by the South (11.0%), the Midwest (7.9%) and the Northeast (6.9%)…

The turnaround has been driven by a combination of better job growth and a tight supply of homes for sale. There also has been a reduction in the number of foreclosures, which drag on prices. Homes sold under financial duress, such as a foreclosure or short sale, accounted for 17% of second quarter sales, down from 26% a year ago, according to the realtors’ group.