Home prices end 2012 with strong gains

Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. home price indexes closed out 2012 with strong gains, two closely watched housing reports said Tuesday.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which reports quarterly on homes backed by the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., better known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, said home prices rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter over the third.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices rose 5.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, the agency said.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, also released Tuesday, said that the national composite index posted a gain of 7.3 percent for 2012.

"Home prices ended 2012 with solid gains," said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee.

In the final monthly report of the year, prices rose in 19 of 20 cities from a year earlier. From the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis all 20 cities were even or ahead.

Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Francisco all posted annual gains of 10 percent or more, lead by Phoenix where prices rose 23 percent.

Only New York City posted an annual decline, with prices off 0.5 percent, the report said.

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