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US house prices bound past forecasts in December

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 25 Feb 2020

US house prices bound past forecasts in December

(Sharecast News) - US house price gains picked up more strongly than expected at the end of 2019.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, US home prices increased at a 0.6% month-on-month clip in December, pushing the year-on-year rate of increase to 5.2% (consensus: 4.8%).

The fastest pace of increases versus a year ago was recorded in the so-called Mountain division where prices rose by 6.7%, while in the Northeast they were up by just 3.9%.

Separately, Standard&Poor's reported that its Case Shiller index of house prices for the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country was flat in December versus the prior month and 2.9% higher on the year (consensus: 2.9%), while nationally they were up by 3.8%.

The latter marked a 10-month high.

But analysts at Capital Economics said: "looking ahead stretched home valuations and tightening credit conditions will offset some of the benefit of low mortgage rates, and that implies annual house price growth this year will moderate to around 3%."

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