Stop all the holiday arguments in their tracks with one simple trick: Play Wait Wait Don't Tell Me too loudly for anyone to hear anyone opine.
Phoenix housing gains lead country
Home prices in Greater Phoenix rose faster in the past year than in any other metro area.
In fact, the Case-Shiller Home-Price Indices show the Phoenix market leading the nation’s housing recovery. The metro area saw a 20 percent jump in housing prices compared to a year ago. The next closest market was Minneapolis -- with a nine percent increase. That is good news for homeowners who owe more on the mortgage than their homes are worth, said Grand Canyon Title Agency Real Estate Analyst Fletcher Wilcox.
"It means some people are feeling a little better about their financial situation, especially if they’re not underwater," Wilcox said. "Or if they’re just a little under water they’re thinking, 'hey, another three months, six months, 12 months, maybe I won’t be underwater any longer.'"
As long as the state continues to add jobs and foreclosures continue to fall, the housing market is not in immediate risk of another bubble, Wilcox said. But: "if there's another economic disaster, then we could have a problem."
There's still a long recovery ahead. Forty-five percent of Phoenix-area homeowners still owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth, according to the real estate research firm Zillow.