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Boston area’s home values up 4% over year

The improving market is in line with a rise in home prices sweeping the nation from San Diego to Miami, according to the index.

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The improving market is in line with a rise in home prices sweeping the nation from San Diego to Miami, according to the index.

The value of a single-family home in the Boston area increased by 4 percent in January, compared with the same month last year, according to data released Tuesday by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The improving market is in line with a rise in home prices sweeping the nation from San Diego to Miami, according to the index, which measures repeat sales and is considered a reliable gauge of the US housing market’s health.

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The increase in Boston-area prices follows a series of minor dips and swells in values over the past several years. Between 2005 and 2009, however, local values fell 20 percent, according to the index. Even with the recent increases, home values remain about 15.7 percent below the peak.

Values in 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller are down about 29 percent, compared with their highs. In January, values nationwide rose 8.1 percent, compared with last year’s.

Karl E. Case, cofounder of the ­index, said that the data, while ­positive, don’t indicate values will skyrocket any time soon.

“We are an industry that has blown up and crashed, and it’s ­coming back,” he said. “We are not zooming out.”

Jenifer B. McKim can be reached at jmckim@globe.com.
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