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Home prices post largest gain in more than a year: S&P 

Home prices were near an all-time high in February. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 6.4% annual gain in February, up from a 6% gain in January, according to the newest report released Tuesday.

It was the largest annualized increase recorded since November 2022. On an annual basis, the 10-city composite index grew by 8%, up from 7.4% the previous month. The 20-city composite posted a year-over-year gain of 7.3%, up from 6.6% the previous month. 

On a monthly basis, the national index posted a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.4%, while the 20-city and 10-city composites each posted gains of 0.6%. 

“Following last year’s decline, U.S. home prices are at or near all-time highs,” Brian D. Luke, head of commodities, real and digital assets at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement. “Our National Composite rose by 6.4% in February, the fastest annual rate since November 2022. Our 10- and 20-City Composite indices are currently at all-time highs. 

“For the third consecutive month, all cities reported increases in annual prices, with four currently at all-time highs: San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York. On a seasonal adjusted basis, our National, 10- and 20- City Composite indices continue to break through previous all-time highs set last year.”

This month’s index release measured repeat sales data from December, January and February. Over the three-month moving average, mortgage rates dipped to 6.6%, then climbed back toward 7%. 

For-sale inventory increased 14.8% year over year in February, according to Realtor.com, but remained nearly 40% lower than pre-pandemic levels, which prevented home prices from easing. Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales increased by 9.5% from January to February as buyers had more inventory to choose from, despite high prices and mortgage rates. 

Markets in the Midwest and Northeast regions posted some of the fastest-growing home prices, while Southern markets saw slower price growth.

San Diego (11.4%), Chicago (8.9%) and Detroit (8.9%) posted the biggest year-over-year price gains among the 20 cities tracked by S&P. Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon, saw the slowest growth with a yearly price gain of 2.2% in February.

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