Home price gains continued their upward trend and rose 3.8 percent year-over-year in December, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index.

Hone prices gains are up from November, when it hovered at 3.5 percent, and 59 percent above a low point in February 2012. Home prices are also 15 percent higher than they were before the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Regionally, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Tampa led the way with the highest gains at 6.5, 5.3 and 5.2 percent, respectively. 12 out of 20 of the biggest cities in the U.S. saw bigger home prices gains in December compared to November.

“The U.S. housing market continued its trend of stable growth in December,” Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices in a prepared statement. “[…] This marks eight consecutive years of increasing housing prices (an increase which is echoed in our 10- and 20-City Composites).”

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index is a composite of single-family home price indices that is calculated every month; the indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions are calculated using estimates of the aggregate value of single-family housing stock for the time period in question.

“As was the case last month, after a long period of decelerating price increases, the National, 10-City, and 20-City Composites all rose at a faster rate in December than they had done in November; 12 of our 20 cities likewise saw accelerating prices,” Lazzara said. “It is, of course, too soon to say whether this marks an end to the deceleration or is merely a pause in the longer-term trend.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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