U.S. home prices in 2012 showed the biggest rise in six and a half years, according to a new report on 20 metropolitan areas across the nation.
Housing prices rose 6.8 percent in 2012 compared to the year before with price hikes in 19 of 20 major cities tracked, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index said. Only New York City prices fell by 0.5 percent, USA TODAY reports.
In the last quarter of 2012, home prices shot up 7.3 percent from the same period a year earlier, helping "cement the housing recovery," Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, and online real estate marketplace, told USA TODAY.
The boost to the housing market recovery was due to various factors including record-low mortgage rates, fewer foreclosures and a shrinking inventory of homes for sale, along with a lower unemployment rate and improvements to the economy, the article said.
Via USA TODAY