Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune

The Twin Cities posted the second-highest increase in home prices among 20 major U.S. cities in July, as the local housing market continues to strengthen.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index showed home prices in the metro area jumped 6 percent in July compared to a year ago, far outpacing the 20-city composite that showed a 1.2 percent gain. The Twin Cities trailed only Phoenix, which saw prices soar 16.6 percent for the month.

Among the metro areas S&P follows, the Twin Cities has been a standout for much of the year with six months of year-over-year gains. July’s increase gives Realtors, buyers and sellers even greater confidence that the market is finally gaining stability after crashing five years ago.

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Twin Cities home price recovery on firm footing