U.S. house prices continued to show no signs of slowing, hitting their highest in nearly three years as demand remains hot, especially in the Pacific Northwest and Dallas.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 5.9% in the three-month period ending in February compared to the same period a year ago, an acceleration from its 5.7% yearly increase in January. This is the highest rate since July 2014.
The 20-city index was up 0.4% for the month, or a 0.7% gain when seasonally adjusted.
Economists had forecast a 0.8% monthly gain and a 5.8% yearly gain for the 20-city index.
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The national index, which just a few months ago regained the high last seen during the housing bubble of a decade ago, rose 5.8% for the year, a 32-month high.
The largest price increases are still in the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle and Portland. Dallas replaced Denver in the top three with an 8.8% increase.
Only Cleveland and Tampa saw prices fall in the February period. Prices were flat in New York and Miami.
Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency also released home-price data for February, which is based on mortgages backed or guaranteed by FHFA-regulated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It showed a seasonally adjusted 0.8% rise for February and a 6.4% year-over-year improvement.
Over 12 months, the Mountain region – Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico – had the fastest growth of 9.5%.
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