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House prices up around the country

House prices rose in New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast last quarter.

House prices rose in New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast last quarter.

Moving companies were busy during the spring buying season, as increased housing market activity drove residential real estate prices up, according to a recently released Clear Capital report.

The report shows house prices rose 4.1 percent nationwide during the second quarter of 2011, making it the first time since 2006 that all four U.S. regions posted quarterly price increases, excluding the 2010 period when tax credits stimulated the market.

Significant quarterly price increases in Milwaukee (19.6 percent), St. Louis (12.5), Chicago (12.5) and Cleveland (11.8) made the Midwest the region with the greatest increase, of 6.3 percent.

Prices increased 15.7 percent in Rochester, New York, 12.8 percent in Pittsburgh and 6.7 percent in New York City last quarter. The Northeast saw a price increase of 5.2 percent, and became the only region where home prices are higher than they were six months ago.

Housing markets still inundated with distressed properties experienced price declines or very slight increases last quarter. These markets, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego, were concentrated in the West, where prices increased 0.7 percent overall.

A DataQuick report showed decreased spring sales of mid-range homes in Los Angeles and San Diego, while sales climbed in the budget sector and remained steady in the luxury market. A Las Vegas real estate association reported June's home sales were up 16.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.