U.S. home prices increase at fastest pace since 2006

From January 2012 to January 2013, home prices increased at the fastest pace since 2006.

The housing recovery has been well underway for several months now, and recent data from S&P Dow Jones Indices reveals that the real estate market is continuing to show significant improvement in 2013. 

On March 26, the company released its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which shows that property values increased significantly from January 2012 to January 2013. The 20-city home price index jumped 8.1 percent while the 10-city home price index climbed 7.3 percent, with every metro across the United States posting year-over-year gains. This is the most significant growth since the summer of 2006. 

Phoenix, San Francisco and Las Vegas saw the strongest improvement, surging 23.2 percent, 17.5 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively. 

"Economic data continues to support the housing recovery. Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013," David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the company's press statement. "Despite a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25 percent year-over-year. Steady employment and low borrowing rates pushed inventories down to their lowest post-recession levels."

The Washington Post reports that consistent growth in the real estate industry is helping to fuel the overall economic recovery, though it will be some time before home values once again reach their peak numbers. 

As the housing market continues to improve and spring – one of the busiest times of the year for the industry – fast approaches, there is a good chance that more people will begin buying and selling homes. It's important, as always, for lenders to ensure that borrowers can stay on top of their monthly payments, and they can do so by investing in loan management software.