NEW YORK Feb 28 U.S. single-family home prices
accelerated at a faster pace than expected in December on the
back of a low inventory of housing stock, a survey showed on
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of 20
metropolitan areas rose 5.6 percent in December on a
year-over-year basis, up from a downwardly adjusted 5.2 percent
climb in November. December's result topped the estimate of a
5.3 percent increase from a Reuters poll of economists.
"Home prices continue to advance, with the national average
rising faster than at any time in the last two-and-a-half
years," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of
the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Nevertheless, Blitzer said, the pace of increases is not
alarming when examined in an inflation-adjusted, historical
context. While the current annualized pace, adjusted for
inflation, is 3.8 percent compared with an average since 1975 of
1.3 percent, it is within a normal range of between negative 4
percent and positive 7 percent.
On a monthly basis, prices in the 20 cities rose 0.9 percent
in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the survey showed,
outpacing expectations for a 0.7 percent increase.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices increased 0.3
percent from November.
(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)