Metro Detroit home prices increased a robust 6.2 percent in July from a year earlier as the region's housing recovery gained steam.

Home prices have risen year-over-year for the past 13 months, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index report released Tuesday. National home prices increased 1.2 percent in July, compared with the same month last year, resulting in the second straight year-over-year gain after two years without one.

The Detroit area has posted above-inflation home price increases for the past 11 months, according to Case-Shiller data. The three months prior to July experienced stronger jumps than originally reported, with gains of 5.2 percent in April, 8 percent in May and 7.4 percent in June. Case-Shiller receives updated information throughout the year that causes the price data to be adjusted upward or downward.

The price improvements came as home sales have jumped 13 of the past 14 months through August in Metro Detroit, according to Realcomp II Ltd., a Farmington Hills multiple listing service.

"Case-Shiller is simply catching up with the meaningful improvement in real estate values which began in early 2012," said David Sowerby, portfolio manager for the investment management firm Loomis Sayles in Bloomfield Hills, in an email.

"The combination of an improved economy and better housing valuations have been key catalysts. In addition, higher stock prices in 2012 have strengthened household net worth, adding to the improved affordability of homes."

In July, a Metro Detroit house valued at $100,000 in January 2000 would be worth nearly $76,000. It's the highest index reading since January 2009, when prices were sliding toward a bottom of $67,230 in April 2011.

Steady price increases and record-low mortgage rates are helping drive a housing recovery in Detroit and across the country.

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