Home Prices Rise

The Case-Shiller home-price index—the best measure of national real-estate values around—rose from June to July by 0.44 percent. It's now up 1.2 percent year over year. This, combined with new recent data on home sales and starts, is a very good sign that housing is finally coming back after bottoming out last year. It's still harder to get financing than in boom time. But house prices were higher than last year in 16 of the 20 cities surveyed by the index on a seasonally adjusted basis. Without seasonal adjustments, home prices rose in all 20 cities for a third consecutive month.