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US home prices up in January, but shy of expectations

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

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 5.7 per cent in January on a year-over-year basis, matching the increase the month before. That was just below the 5.8 per cent estimate from a Reuters poll of economists.

"Home prices continue to climb at more than twice the rate of inflation," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "While low inventories and short supply are boosting prices, financing continues to be a concern for some potential purchasers, particularly young adults and first time home buyers.

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


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