• US home market slowing down

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: US home prices fell slightly in November, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), in some new evidence that the hot housing market is slowing down.

    The Case-Shiller index for 20 leading cities fell for the first time since November 2012, losing 0.1 percent in the month.

    Nine of the 20 cities lost ground, nine saw prices rise and there was no change in two cities. On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices in November gained 0.9 percent.

    Year-on-year gains remained strong, rising 13.7 percent.

    But with mortgage interest rates rising, analysts said that the strong market of the past two years and the double-digit annual price gains could soon be over.

    “Home prices continue to rise despite last May’s jump in mortgage interest rates,” said David Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

    Even so, he said that, “while housing will make further contributions to the economy in 2014, the pace of price gains is likely to slow during the year.”

    Las Vegas, one of the worst-hit cities in the housing crisis, continued to bounce back with a 0.6-percent gain in the month, and 27.3 percent in the year.

    Also strong were Miami and San Francisco, where housing price gains driven by booming tech industry salaries have become a political issue.

    But other hot markets of the past two years, Washington, New York City, Chicago, Portland and Denver, all showed a monthly fall.

    AFP

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