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Home prices on a slow climb

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Posted: 6 pm ET

Fueled by a lack of available homes for sale and increasing demand from buyers, single-family home prices eked out gains in July, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price indexes.

steps-to-refinance-mortgage-lgOn a seasonally adjusted basis, prices rose at a slightly slower pace in July compared with June. The index, which tracks prices in 20 metro areas, rose by 0.6 percent in July, compared with a 0.9 percent increase in June. Prices were up 12.4 percent from a year ago, marking the strongest year-on-year gain since February 2006.

Areas hit hardest by the housing collapse continued to lead the way in price increases, with Las Vegas gaining 27.5 percent from a year earlier. San Francisco was the next-highest gainer, with a 24.8 percent increase in prices, followed by Los Angeles at 20.8 percent and San Diego at 20.4 percent.

Robert Shiller, one of the creators of the index, told CNBC that prices in some cities are beginning to look "bubbly" and that he is concerned about another run-up in housing prices.

Over the summer, buyers rushed into the market ahead of rising mortgage rates. Last month, home sales reached their highest level since February 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors. Since then, activity has slowed as buyers battle several market impediments, including lack of inventory, rising rates and tight lending standards.

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages, and follow me on Twitter: @JudyMartel.

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