After a few fitful starts, the US housing recovery is gathering momentum. New and existing home sales are up. Homebuilder confidence is stronger. Perhaps most important of all, house prices throughout the country are rising.

All 20 cities in the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index have now put in a bottom. Some cities have been healing for quite some time: in San Francisco, home prices stopped falling in March 2009 and are already up 18.1% (the dark bars in the chart). At the other end of the spectrum, New York reached its low earlier this year and home prices are now up 3.7%. Overall, the 20-City Home Price Index is up 6.0% (the dark orange bar).

A few cities are posting record-breaking monthly gains. Although the data only goes back two decades, home prices in Detroit were up 6.0% in June, the strongest ever. Atlanta and Chicago also posted record gains. Since the Case-Shiller data is not seasonally adjusted, the pace of gains will be tempered in coming months. But the trajectory is clearly up.

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