The Twin Cities housing market in March posted its second consecutive month of price gains on an annual basis, according to the latest Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
Twin Cities home prices climbed about 3 percent compared to March of 2011. That's in sharp contrast to the Case-Shiller 20-city index, which dropped nearly 3 percent over the same period and hit a new low since the housing crisis began in mid-2006.
Despite the overall decline in the broader index, there are some encouraging signs, according to S&P economist David Blitzer. He notes that the number of cities hitting new price lows has declined.
"Add to that figures we've seen from other parts of housing -- housing starts, existing home sales, new home sales -- the housing situation in the United States, while certainly not booming, is seeing some stability and possibly some gains going forward," Blitzer said.
The Twin Cities was one of seven markets where prices increased over the year ending in March.
Prices increased in Tampa and Miami -- two of the hardest hit markets. Las Vegas -- the nation's worst market -- so no change in prices.
Prices dropped sharply in Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta.
On a monthly basis, housing prices in the Twin Cities showed mixed signs from February to March: they were down about 1 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, but up about 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Year-over-year price changes are generally regarded as a more reliable indicator.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)