After a downturn at the end of 2010, home prices have started 2011 on the rise. According to Clear Capital’s monthly Home Data Index, national home prices stopped declining in early January and ended the month up 0.9 percent. The gains were the first since last August. Dr. Alex Villacorta, senior statistician at Clear Capital, said the uptick was the first improvement in prices unrelated to federal incentives since the downturn began. The change in prices is also significant as the first months of the year are typically affected by slow sales, suggesting buyers are anticipating the start of a sustained recovery. More here and here.