Reuters

(Reuters)

Home Prices Rise More than Expected in March

Politics Reuters

U.S. single-family home prices rose in March from a year earlier, led again by strong increases in the western half of the United States, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

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The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5 percent in March on a year-over-year basis, matching February's gain. The March reading topped a Reuters poll of economists that forecast a rise of 4.7 percent.

For the second straight month, San Francisco and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains, with prices increasing by 10.3 percent and 10 percent, respectively, over the last 12 months.

"Home prices are currently rising more quickly than either per capita personal income or wages, narrowing the pool of future home-buyers. All of this suggests that some future moderation in home prices gains is likely," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Blitzer added that because consumer debt levels appeared manageable, "I would describe this as a rebound in home prices, not bubble and not a reason to be fearful." (Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)