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U.S. home prices up 5.1% in October

Residential property prices in 20 major cities monitored across the U.S. maintained steady growth in October as demand continued to outstrip the supply of housing on the market, the latest figures show.

The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.1% in October from a year earlier after increasing 5% in September. But despite the continued sales growth, property prices for the 20 cities remain 7.1% below their July 2006 peak.

According to the data, property price growth was led by Seattle in October, with a 10.7% year-on-year price increase, followed by Portland and Denver where annual home prices rose 10.3% and 8.3% respectively.

To the east, Atlanta and Charlotte also showed continued growth with each posting 6% year-on-year price increases. New York registered the smallest comparable gain, with 1.7%.

Overall, 10 cities reported greater price increases for the year ending October 2016 compared with the year ending September 2016.

Growth in property prices has been supported by the supply-demand imbalance in the market, fuelled in part by low mortgage rates, but cheap home loans could soon be a thing of the past. The rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage last month reached 4.3%, a post-presidential election increase that represents the highest level for more than two and a half years.

“Home prices and the economy are both enjoying robust numbers,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, mortgage interest rates rose in November and are expected to rise further as home prices continue to outpace gains in wages and personal income.” 

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