Home Values Rise in 2012, First Since 2006

Seattle, WA, Dec. 20, 2012 -- Homes values rose an estimated 6% in the U.S. this year, according to listing service Zillow.

It was the first increase since 2006, Zillow said.

Values have increased more than $1.3 trillion to $23.7 trillion since the end of last year and probably will continue to rise in 2013, the firm said in a press release.

"The housing market really turned a corner in 2012, as historic affordability and sustained investor interest helped keep demand at a boil," said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, in the release.

"As home values rise, and more homeowners are freed from negative equity, we can expect a continued slow transition to a more normal housing environment."