(Newsroom America) -- Data through August 2012 showed average home prices increased by 0.9% for both the 10- and 20-City Composites in August versus July 2012, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
Nineteen of the 20 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly gains in August; Seattle was the only exception where prices declined 0.1% over the month.
The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of +1.3% and +2.0% in August 2012 – an improvement over the +0.6% and +1.2% respective annual rates posted for July 2012.
Eighteen of the 20 cities and both Composites posted better annual returns in August compared to July 2012. Annual returns for Dallas remained unchanged at +3.6% and Chicago saw its annual return worsen from -1.0% in July to -1.6% in August 2012.
Only three cities posted negative annual returns in August: Atlanta with -6.1%, New York at -2.3% and Chicago at -1.6%.
Phoenix posted its fourth consecutive month double-digit increase in annual rates with a recording of +18.8% in August 2012. It is the best performing city among the 20 cities followed by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
In August 2012, the 10- and 20-City Composites recorded respective annual increases of 1.3% and 2.0%, and monthly gains of 0.9% each.
"Home prices continued climbing across the country in August," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Nineteen of the 20 cities and both Composites showed monthly gains in August. Seventeen cities and both Composites posted positive annual returns in August 2012. In 18 cities and both Composites annual rates improved in August versus July. Dallas' rate remained unchanged at +3.6% and Chicago worsened slightly from a -1.0% annual rate in July to a -1.6% annual rate in August.
"Phoenix continues to lead the home price recovery. It recorded its fourth consecutive month of double-digit positive annual returns with a +18.8% rate for August. Atlanta posted a -6.1% annual rate, however this is significantly better than the nine consecutive months of double-digit declines it posted from October 2011 through June 2012. Las Vegas' annual rate finally moved to positive territory with a +0.9% annual rate of change in August 2012, its first since January 2007.
"The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market," he said.