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US home prices rise less than expected in February

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Annualized US single-family home prices rose less than expected in February, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

[NEW YORK] Annualized US single-family home prices rose less than expected in February, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 5.4 per cent in February on a year-over-year basis, less than the 5.7 per cent increase the month before and just below the 5.5 per cent estimate from a Reuters poll of economists.

"Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers," said David M Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Prices rose 0.7 per cent in February from January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the survey showed, just short of expectations for a rise of 0.8 per cent.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices increased 0.2 per cent from January.

Home prices in three US cities, Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, reported the highest year-over-year gains, the survey showed.

REUTERS