Looking up ... US home prices on the rise for first time in 5 years

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Home prices hit a bottom and are finally bouncing back, according to an industry report released [in July]. Nationwide, home values rose 0.2% year-over-year to a median $149,300 during the second quarter, the first annual increase since 2007, real estate listing site Zillow reported. Prices were up 2.1% from the first quarter.

Even though June marked the fourth consecutive month of home value increases, overall home prices are still down almost 24% since April 2007, when Zillow began to track home values.

"[I]t seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values," said Zillow's chief economist Stan Humphries. "The housing recovery is holding together despite lower-than-expected job growth, indicating that it has some organic strength of its own."

Last winter, Zillow projected that the housing market turnaround would not arrive until the end of the year.

Other home price indexes have also recorded gains lately, including the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. In it latest release, it reported that home prices  in 20 major markets rose 1.3% in April, the first monthly increase in seven months.

Beaten down markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas and many Florida cities, will likely record greater-than-average gains over the next 12 months.