In 20 U.S. cities, home prices have reached highs not seen since 2006, according the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values. House prices are on the rise in certain parts of the country, with residential real estate prices increasing in January the most they’ve done since June 2006.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency agreed, with its records showing that real estate prices advanced 6.5 per cent in the year through January.

With interest rates staying relatively low, these prices help bolster the recovering market.

The highest producing city on the index was Phoenix, Arizone, with 23.2 per cent surge over the last year. Even New York, which had been in a 28 month slump, turned around with a 0.6 per cent increase for January.

NAR stats showed that median home value climbed to $173,600, up 11.6 per cent on a year ago – the biggest gain since November 2005.

The hope, say many, is that higher prices will encourage more home owners to list their homes for sale with an agent, luring more home buyers into the market, eventually causing more new homes to be built.

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