by Rick Delgado
on Monday, September 3rd, 2012 at 2:04pm.
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... It wasn't that long ago when some pundits were saying hope was all we had in the housing market. But now our hope is being justified by some solid facts. Last Tuesday, the Case-Shiller S&P 500 index of home prices in the 20 largest metros posted a 0.9% gain (seasonally-adjusted) for June. For the month, 18 of the 20 metro areas showed gains; in the last three months, prices were up in all 20. Overall, prices are UP 0.5% compared to a year ago.
This encouraging news was followed by July Pending Home Sales. The index of contracts signed on existing homes scored its 15th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The 2.4% hike over the prior month put the index at its highest reading in two years, at 101.7, "a level that is historically healthy," according to the National Association of Realtors. Finally, "jumbo" mortgages (larger home loans not guaranteed by the federal government) were UP 65% in Q2 versus a year ago, posting the highest quarterly dollar amount since Q1 of 2008