Mortgage rates may be inching up, but they have not put a damper on the U.S. housing market rebound, according to figures released Tuesday that showed upward momentum in both prices and sales.
The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home-price index showed a 12 percent gain in 20 cities from April 2012 to April 2013, the largest gain since early 2006, when home values began to slow.
And in May, sales of previously occupied homes jumped 4.2 percent to surpass the 5 million mark, the National Association of Realtors said. That’s the first time that’s happened in 3½ years.
Prices are rising because demand is up and fewer homes are available for sale. That’s made builders more optimistic about their prospects, leading to more construction and jobs.