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US home prices rise 8.1 percent in June; smallest increase in more than 18 months

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This Aug. 14, 2014 photo shows a sign in front of a home for sales in Whittier, Calif. Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for July on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (The Associated Press)

U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 8.1 percent in June from 12 months earlier. That's down from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the smallest annual gain since December 2012.

Yearly price growth weakened in all 20 cities. Home values in Cleveland nudged up just 0.8 percent. Las Vegas led with a 15.2 percent gain. But prices in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa, Florida, are still at least 33 percent below their housing bubble peaks from almost a decade ago.

The deceleration should ease price pressures on would-be buyers. After slumping at the start of 2014, existing-home sales have picked up as price gains have slowed. But buying remains 4.3 percent below the July 2013 level.