US home prices rise by most in nearly 7 years

US home prices jump in February from a year ago by largest amount since May 2006

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in February compared with a year ago by the most in nearly seven years, as a growing number of buyers bid on a limited supply of homes.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 9.3 percent in the 12 months ending in February. That's up from an 8.1 percent gain in January.

Annual prices rose in all 20 cities for the second month in a row, the first time that has happened since early 2005. Phoenix recorded the biggest annual gain, with prices rising 23 percent. Prices jumped nearly 19 percent in San Francisco.

Eleven of the 20 cities reported price gains in February compared with January. Those monthly numbers are not seasonally adjusted and reflect the slower winter buying period.

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