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According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home prices are up again. Data released on September 25 indicates that the 10-City Composite posted annual returns of 0.6 percent, with average home prices increasing by 1.5 percent. The 20-City Composite posted returns of 1.2 percent, and a 1.6 percent climb in prices.
“Home prices increased again in July,” says David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row.” The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing round three dropped mortgage interest rates even lower this month, which could help the trend continue into the future.
The good housing news continues with U.S. consumer confidence hitting a seven-month high. The Conference Board Consumer Research Center announced that the Index stands at 70.3, a nine point increase from August. Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board, said that “despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months.”
This comes as particularly good news to large retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) as the holiday season approaches. Increased consumer confidence could mean an uptick in major electronic and appliance sales.
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