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Home prices in 20 cities rose in Feb, though gains are moderating in urban areas

A woman pushes a child in a stroller past property for sale sign in Monterey Park, California.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
A woman pushes a child in a stroller past property for sale sign in Monterey Park, California.

Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan cities continued to rise in February, though gains are moderating in a number of urban areas, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose 5.4 percent in February, just below expectations for a 5.5 percent increase among analysts.

"Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement. "The year-over-year figures for the 10-city and 20-city composites both slowed, and 13 of the 20 cities saw slower year-over-year numbers compared to last month."

Home price appreciation remained strong in Portland, Oregon, where homeowners saw prices rise 11.9 percent from February 2015. Seattle and Denver trailed behind with gains of 11 percent and 9.7 percent year-over-year, respectively.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which measures all nine U.S. census divisions, was up 5.3 percent year-over-year in February.

Rising prices and the pace of new single-family home construction are a concern throughout much of the United States, Blitzer said.

"The visible supply of homes on the market is low at 4.8 months in the last report. Homeowners looking to sell their house and trade up to a larger house or a more desirable location are concerned with finding that new house," he said.