Real Estate

Home prices rise 5.1% in Aug vs. 5.1% gain expected: S&P/Case-Shiller

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Home prices continued to rise in August on pace with gains throughout 2015 as housing market indicators remained mostly positive, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite index.

The S&P Dow Jones Indices reported on Tuesday that U.S. home prices rose 5.1 percent from a year ago, matching analyst expectations.

San Francisco, Denver, and Portland, Oregon, showed the biggest gains, and 15 cities overall recorded price increases from August 2014.

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The National Home Price Index, which measures all nine U.S. census divisions, ticked up 4.7 percent in August on an annual basis, compared with a 4.6 percent rise in July.

"Home prices continue to climb at a 4% to 5% annual rate across the country," David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

"Most other recent housing indicators also show strength. Housing starts topped an annual rate of 1.2 million units in the latest report with continuing strength in both single family homes and apartments. The National Association of Home Builders sentiment survey, reflecting current strength, reached the highest level since 2005, before the housing collapse."

Blitzer acknowledged that new home sales fell sharply in September, noting that low inventories may have been behind the drop.

Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said she expected relative stability in home price appreciation for the foreseeable future.

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Gudell singled out strength in the urban condominium market, noting that values are rising at a brisker pace than single-family home prices.

"This is a sign of the times in terms of buyers' preferences, as condos often represent a more affordable, more urban housing option that is particularly attractive to younger buyers," she said in a statement.

Correction: This story was updated to reflect that the comparison prices for the 15 cities were from August 2014.