Home prices in the U.S. increased 1.3% in April over March, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released today.
For the year that ended in April, home prices dipped 1.9%. That was a smaller year-over-year decline than registered in February or March, when prices fell 2.9% and 2.6% compared to 2011, USA Today noted.
The index showed that home prices gained in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities. Economists who helped prepare the index noted that the rise in prices signals a growing recovery in the housing market.
The latest Case-Shiller figures come on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by the Commerce Department that sales of new homes jumped 7.6% in May, beating economists’ forecasts and hitting a two-year high.
Last week, the government said housing starts dropped 4.8% in May, but new permits for new residential construction rose 7.9%, the best showing since September 2008.
Investors greeted today’s news, sending shares of homebuilders higher. Ryland (NYSE:RYL) and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) saw their shares rise by more than 4%, while D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) shares moved up 3% in Tuesday afternoon trading.