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Home price index shows 1st annual gain in 3 years

Home price index shows 1st annual gain in 3 years

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MIAMI — Home prices rose in February, the first annual increase in more than three years, but fell short of analysts’ expectations.

But results of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index were mixed, as 11 of the 20 cities showed declines.

Home prices in February increased 0.6 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the index released Tuesday. The last time prices rose on a year-over-year basis was December 2006.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 1.2 percent increase.

The data show that home prices could decline further before experiencing any sustained gains and it’s too early to say the housing market is recovering.

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