Homes Prices Up Yet Home Sales Plunge Nationwide

In this Aug. 24, 2010 photograph, a row of new homes is seen in the Boulevard Heights development in St. Louis. Home prices rose in June for the third straight month amid a burst of home-buying due to tax incentives that have since expired. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo

In the most recent Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller national home price index, the figures show that home prices are up 4.4 percent in second quarter but down 27 percent since July 2006.

Across the country the arrow went up for home prices in June. Chicago was up 2.5 percent; Minneapolis, 2.5 percent; and Detroit, 2.5 percent. They led the rebound according to the Case-Shiller index. Among 20 major metropolitan areas, only Las Vegas fell, 0.6 percent, reports CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason.

Nationally house prices are up nearly seven percent from the lows in 2009 with some cities showing double digit gains. Yale University economics professor Robert Shiller says, "Notably San Francisco, which is our best performing city since 2009. It's up 21 percent. That's booming."

Ominous signs still loom for the housing market. Sales of existing homes plummeted 27 percent in July and some economists think house prices are about to fall again too.

"We're not quite through with the housing crash," says Moody's Analytics' chief economist Mark Zandi. We've got another five percent or so to go on house prices."

Because the first time homebuyers tax credit, which fueled much of the growth, has expired and foreclosures continue to mount, hundreds showed up for a workshop for distressed homeowners in West Palm Beach, Fla., this past weekend.

"And we've been here all night," says Racquel Turner.

Racquel and Robert Turner have fallen three months behind on their mortgage payments.

"Basically, I was out of a job for six months," says Robert.

Unemployment continues to feed the foreclosure crisis. "I think that we should be focused not on boosting the housing market, but focused on creating jobs," says Shiller. "And if we create jobs I think the mood of the country will change."

Meanwhile, even with mortgage rates at historic lows, the housing market remains on shaky ground.