U.S. home prices rose by 1.5 percent for the 10-city composite and 1.6 percent for the 20-city composite in July versus June 2012, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released today. Chicago-area home prices rose 2.7 percent during that period, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a news release:

“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”

In other news:

Case-Shiller: Chicago area home prices rise 2.7% in JulyChicago Tribune

Five Questions: Why Home Prices Are RisingWall Street Journal