US home prices up in October from year earlier

US home prices rose 4.3 percent in October as compared with last year, the fastest 12-month increase since May 2010, according to S&P/Case-Shiller statistics released Wednesday.

The 20-city price index declined 0.1 percent from September, according to data not adjusted for seasonal variations, but the group emphasized the strong year-on-year figures.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the index climbed 0.7 percent between September and October.

"It is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength," said David Blitzer, head of the index committee.

"Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy."

According to Barclays Research, the 4.3 percent year-on-year rise represented the "fastest pace of increase since May 2010 when the homebuyer tax credit was boosting sales and prices."

While Phoenix home prices rose for the 13th month in a row, San Diego posted nine consecutive monthly gains. Only Chicago and New York saw negative annual returns in October.

Twelve cities saw a drop in prices last month according to non-seasonally adjusted data, compared to seven in September. Chicago saw a decline of 1.5 percent while prices in Boston dipped 1.4 percent.

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