Houston home prices continue climb as national market turns

Home prices may be picking up nationwide.A report from Clear Capital (http://www NULL.clearcapital NULL.com/company/MarketReport NULL.cfm?month=February&year=2011) finds that home prices in the Houston real estate market have continued to climb while the national market may also be beginning to turn.

According to the report, home values in Houston have risen 1.7 percent over the three-month period ending in January and 5.6 percent over the previous 12. The quarterly price gain was the ninth-best in any city nationwide.

At the same time, national home prices dropped 1.6 percent over the quarter. But economists say they saw an uptick in prices during the final months of January.

"This recent national change in price direction is encouraging for the overall housing sector, yet it is still too early to determine whether this current uptick in home prices is a temporary reprieve or the start of a sustained recovery," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, senior statistician at Clear Capital.

Even if prices start to gain ground, they still have a long way until the equity lost in the recession is earned back. According to the Case-Shiller home price index, home prices in November were 30 percent below their peak levels.

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