Public optimism that a sustainable economic recovery is underway has driven up home prices in many regional markets, according to Fiserv, Inc.
The Wisconsin-based financial services firm released its analysis of home price trends Monday, covering 384 U.S. metro areas and based on the closely-watched Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes.
The company’s analysts found that in the fourth quarter of 2009, U.S. home prices were trending up in 40 percent of the metros studied, including markets in California, Ohio, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.
“More and more, consumers have confidence that buying a home doesn’t mean catching a falling knife,” said David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv. “Very large price declines have also made housing much more affordable, drawing in both first-time homebuyers and investors.”
Despite the modest bounce-back from recent lows in a large number of regional markets, the U.S. housing market continued its price correction over the past year, with single-family home prices across the U.S. falling an average of 2.5 percent over the 12-month period ending December 31, 2009.
Fiserv says the drop in the national figure can be attributed to…