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US home prices inch higher in February

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Home prices in the U.S. rose in February with no sign of changing direction.

Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 6.3% annual increase in February, up from 6.1% a month earlier. Year-over-year prices have risen continuously for the past 70 months, since May 2012, according to David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones in a press statement. Over that time, the annual price increases averaged 6%, comparable to the time period between January 1992 and February 2007, when prices averaged 6.1% annually.

“With expectations for continued economic growth and further employment gains, the current run of rising prices is likely to continue,” said Blitzer.

Seattle housing market still biggest gainer

The 20-city composite posted a 6.8% year-over-year gain, up from 6.4% in the previous month, beating analysts’ estimates of 6.35%. As expected, Seattle led with a 12.7% year-over-year price increase.

“Increasing employment supports rising home prices both nationally and locally,” said Blitzer. “Among the 20 cities covered by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, Seattle enjoyed both the largest gain in employment and in home prices over the 12 months ended in February 2018.”

Seattle posted a 12.7% year-over-year price increase. Las Vegas followed with an 11.6% increase and San Francisco recorded a 10.1% increase.

Meanwhile, Chicago was ranked No. 19 in both home price and employment gains, according to the 20-city composite, and Cleveland ranked No. 18 in home prices and No. 20 in employment increases.

Amanda Fung is an editor at Yahoo Finance

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