The Case-Shiller home price index for December was up 6.84 percent year-over-year (YoY), slightly above expectations for a 6.62 percent rise.
This was the biggest gain since July 2006.
On a month-over-month basis, 20-city prices were up 0.88 percent, above expectations for a 0.65 percent rise.
November year-over-year home prices were revised down to a 5.44 percent YoY rise, from 5.52 percent. The monthly number was however revised up to 0.65 percent, from 0.63 percent.
19 of the 20 cities posted an annual rise in home prices, only New York saw a decline.
Here is a look at the trajectory of home prices since 1988:
Here is a breakdown of home prices for each of the 20 cities:
While some analysts are looking for a gradual rise in home prices. Bank of America's Michelle Meyer projects that home prices were up 6.4 percent in 2012, and will rise 4.7 percent in 2013.
Meanwhile, Quinn W Eddins at RadarLogic writes that home prices will rise in a "saw-tooth pattern for a number of years". He says for a meaningful rise, we need home prices to be driven by job growth and consumer confidence.
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