From the Tennessean

    From yesterday’s Tennessean, click here for the full article.

    Good News for Housing

    The housing sector received positive news, too. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller’s U.S. National Home Price Index rose 1.4 percent in the second quarter from the January-March period, the first quarterly increase in three years. Home prices, though still down nearly 15 percent from last year, are at levels last seen in early 2003.

    The report added to recent positive news about housing. The National Association of Realtors said last week that sales of existing homes rose 7.2 percent in July, the fourth straight monthly gain.

    The Commerce Department is set today to report new-home sales for July. Analysts also expect that figure to rise. Higher home prices would help consumers, who are saving more and spending less during the longest recession since World War II.

    "An upturn in prices has to ease some of the pain and may even get some people to loosen up on their wallets a touch," Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, wrote in a note to clients. "An improving housing market coupled with better consumer spending could ensure that the recovery takes hold."

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