(NEW YORK) -- The housing market is revving up and gaining strength in some parts of the country. Average U.S. home prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter, the biggest quarterly gain since 2006, according to real estate information provider Zillow.
But the pace of the recovery is uneven, with home values growing rapidly in some areas and falling in others.
Compared with the year before, Zillow says prices shot up more than 20 percent in the Phoenix metro area. Meanwhile, in the Atlanta region, home values dropped nearly 5 percent.
“We’re likely seeing home values fall back into the negative range in some markets due to the close of the traditional home-buying season,” Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries explains. “While that doesn’t mean the recovery has come off the rails -- in fact, most markets have hit bottom -- it does present a confusing environment for consumers."
Zillow's forecast shows a modest rise for next year, with values increasing 1.7 percent.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio