Home prices in Detroit finished the year with an increase of nearly 14 percent over 2011, far ahead of the average price improvement nationally, which was 6.8 percent for the year.
Detroit’s big gain comes mostly because of how far property values in the region have fallen, with home prices barely above what they were 17 years ago. Prices in Metro Detroit still remain nearly 40 percent below their peak in April 2006.
According to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday, home prices in Metro Detroit gained 13.7 percent between December 2011 and December 2012, compared with an average 6.9 percent increase for the entire 20-city index.
In a separate national index, Case-Schiller reported overall home values in the United States picked up at a rate of 7.3 percent last year.
Between November and December, Metro Detroit home prices barely budged, rising from 76.39 to 76.69 on the 100-point Case-Shiller scale. A value of 100 equals where home prices stood at the beginning of 2000. The total index of 20 major cities improved from 144.99 to 146.26 in the month, a gain of slightly less than 1 percent.
Detroit has the lowest value of all cities in the index, with home prices standing about where they were in July 1996. Only Atlanta remains with Detroit with a home price index of less than 100, while Las Vegas and Cleveland are just barely above that level. The highest-vale metro area is Washington, D.C., with a price index of 189.6.
In recent months, realtors have reported that home values in Metro Detroit have been climbing because of the lower number of homes and condominiums for sale. Dropping rate of foreclosures have put fewer new properties on the market, while homeowners who still owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth are reticent to sell and take the loss.
Brian O’Connor, The Detroit News.