U.S. Home Prices Show Sustained Growth

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NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. home prices in February posted their highest annual gains since May 2006 in two closely watched indexes, a private report said Tuesday.

On an annual basis, the 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index showed a gain of 9.3 percent in February. The comparable 10-city index showed an annual gain of 8.6 percent in the month, the monthly report said.

On an annual basis, “home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities,” David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

“Seasonally adjusted monthly data show all 20 cities saw higher prices for two months in a row — the last time that happened was in early 2005,” Blitzer said.

Double-digit annual increases in January were posted in Phoenix, up 23 percent; San Francisco, up 18.9 percent; Las Vegas, up 17.6 percent; Atlanta, up 16.5 percent; Detroit, up 15.2 percent; Los Angeles, up 14.1 percent, Minneapolis, up 12 percent; and Miami, up 10.4 percent, San Diego, up 10.2 percent and Tampa, Fla., up 10 percent.

“At the other end of the rankings, three older cities — New York, Boston and Chicago — saw the smallest year-over-year price improvements,” Blitzer said.

The lowest was posted by New York, a 1.9 percent gain, followed by 5.1 percent in Chicago and 5.2 percent in Boston.

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