The S&P Case-Shiller index of US home prices rose in September to the highest level since July 2006, when the most recent housing boom topped out.
A report out Tuesday showed that the national index rose by 5.5% year-on-year in September. The 20-city composite, which covers major metros, rose by 5.1%, unchanged from the previous month.
Seattle recorded the highest year-on-year price increase, up 11%, followed by Portland and Denver.
House prices have been rising as a healthy jobs market and historically low mortgage rates have made homeownership more appealing. Also, constrained supply helped to bid up the prices of existing homes, especially in desirable East and West Coast cities.
"The new peak set by the S&P Case-Shiller CoreLogic National Index will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery to the hoped-for start of a new advance," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in the release.
Impressive and elegant would be the best words to describe this breathtaking 18,000-square-foot home in Arkansas. The inside boasts marble staircases, Italian mantles and a kids’ playroom complete with a redwood treehouse.
Billionaire Bill Koch has listed this 82-acre Aspen estate for sale. In addition to picturesque views, the cabin-inspired rustic home offers 25 bedrooms, a full-size indoor basketball court and proximity to downtown Aspen.
While grand staircases are pretty common inside homes, this Florida mansion comes with an impressive one outside. Once you make the trek to the 21,865-square-foot main residence, you’ll find water views (of the two backyard pools, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway) from most of the 18 bedrooms, 26 bathrooms and countless other living spaces.
Despite having garage space for 10 cars, this futuristic-looking home might be better suited to parking a spaceship. The 2.55-acre property offers 24,000 square feet of living space, featuring a theater room, a private Irish pub called “Kevin O’Sullivans” and a chef’s kitchen.
If you’re worried about finding a place to stay during the Kentucky Derby, snag this home. Located just miles from Churchill Downs, this 158-acre estate includes a 24-stall barn and 30,000-square-foot outdoor arena.
This phenomenal 20,263-square-foot Maryland property has been carefully crafted with thought to every feature, from the numerous different chandeliers to the gorgeously manicured gardens surrounding the backyard pool.
Just five miles from Boston, this home looks more like it belongs in the English countryside. The long private driveway leads to a majestic 26,623-square-foot residence that sits on 14 acres of rolling lawns, ponds and meandering pathways.
This French chateau-style home will impress you from the moment you set foot inside the private gates. Soaring cathedral ceilings meet marble floors and house a relaxation salon and a glass gym. Meanwhile, the backyard boasts a gunite saltwater infinity pool.
Located on one of the world’s cleanest lakes, this secluded 22-acre Montana Island estate leaves nothing to be desired. The great room welcomes you to the 21,964-square-foot home with 45-foot ceilings and Carrara marble floors that continue throughout the numerous living spaces.
Spanning an expansive 63,029 square feet on the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee, this home is impressive in size and stature. Its impressive fountains aren’t just outdoors either — a fountain room exists inside the house, too.
To see this house, you’ll have to get past the guard house and private gate, after which you’ll be met with a noteworthy pond and perfectly manicured grounds. Inside the 7,536-square-foot compound are contrasting dark wood and light marble finishes, a state-of-the-art kitchen complete with a Sub-Zero fridge and a spa-like master bath.
The natural beauty of Oregon is visible from all angles of this woodsy 14,666-square-foot estate. When you’re not looking out the endless bays of windows, it’ll be hard to pull your eyes away from the cavernous stone fireplace that takes up nearly the entire length of the living room wall and expands up toward the vaulted ceilings.
This breathtaking Louis XIV chateau sits on a peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with 270-degree views. Every aspect of this estate is grand — from the long, dramatic driveway to the backyard terraces overlooking the manicured backyard and the ocean beyond.
This Johns Island home has been touched by many architects and designers over the years, resulting in a varied, but perfectly melded, design. The interiors will remind you of Cape Cod beach homes, while the backyard could lead to a Malibu beach without being out of place. Put them together, and you’ve got a perfect beach house.
Own a piece of Missouri River frontage with this stunning 3.35-acre property in South Dakota. The careful craftsmanship is apparent in the hand-forged iron work, the custom on-site finished cabinetry, and the intricate tile and stone work.
This elegant Preston Hollow estate ushers you in through a dramatic black-and-white foyer with a spiral staircase. Further inside, you’ll find a stunning white marble bathroom, an indoor pool and hot tub room, and a beautiful library with built-in wooden bookshelves.
The mountain and lake views from this Utah home — built from a unique combination of Italian stone, concrete, steel and glass — are unsurpassed. With 7,996 square feet of space and a grand terrace outdoor area, you’ll want to entertain every weekend so your friends can catch some breathtaking sunsets as well.
You can choose to take a dip in the backyard pool, the hot tub, or the lake that’s merely yards away from this custom-built Virginia home. Afterwards, you can screen a flick in the home theater, or grab a meal at the nearby country club.
This Pacific Northwest estate is a horticulturist dream, with over 3,000 planted trees and nearly that many types of flowers and shrubs located right on the grounds — carefully curated from all over the world by the previous owners. Also accompanying the 6,500-square-foot main residence is a private driving, chipping and putting area.
If you’ve ever wanted to live in a mountaintop community, this 19,000-square-foot house presents just the opportunity to join one. While you might be a little farther from the city, you can entertain friends in the backyard with a pool party or a quick game of tennis on your private court.
This former Wrigley Estate, known as Hillcroft, stands along 415 feet of frontage on the coveted shores of Lake Geneva. Not only does this home carry a famous history, it also boasts park-like grounds and an 11,000-square-foot main residence.
Known as the Cakebread Ranch, this stunning home is accompanied by 4.5 miles of private waters on the Salt River, a late 1700s walk-in fireplace, and hand-tooled hickory flooring.
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"While seven of the 20 cities previously reached new post-recession peaks, those that experienced the biggest booms — Miami, Tampa, Phoenix and Las Vegas — remain well below their all-time highs."
He said other housing indicators such as sales of new and existing homes are performing at the best levels since the recession. That allays concerns of an imminent housing crash, even though prices are as lofty as they were the last time one happened.
"Home prices reaching their nominal pre-recession peaks brings mixed news for the housing market," said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia's chief economist. "It's good news for homeowners who are no longer underwater, but not so great news for homebuyers who have seen prices outpace incomes for most of the housing market recovery."
This chart shows that average home prices in the 10- and 20-city composite indexes that S&P created are back to the highest levels since the housing bust. REUTERS/Mike Blake