PRICES RISE: Home prices increased in September in most major U. S. cities, more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index of home prices rose 3 percent in September compared with the same month last year.
BROAD INCREASES: Prices also gained 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011. Prices increased in 18 of 20 cities over the 12 months ending in September.
ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Higher home prices make homeowners feel wealthier and more likely to spend. That boosts consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of the economy.