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US home prices continue to rise

WASHINGTON — A survey shows US home prices rose 10.5 percent in March, compared with a year earlier, the biggest gain since March 2006.

Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.

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Prices increased in 46 states over the past year — 11 of them posting double-digit gains. And when excluding distress sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, prices rose in every state. A short sale is when a home sells for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

Nevada led all states, with a 22.2 percent annual gain. It was followed by California (17.2 percent), Arizona (16.8 percent), Idaho (14.5 percent), and Oregon (14.3 percent).

Home prices also rose 1.9 percent in March from February, signaling a solid start to the spring buying season. And 88 of the 100 largest cities reported price gains, compared with a year earlier.

Steady job creation and record-low­ mortgage rates have boosted home sales and construction in the past year.

The number of homes for sale fell nearly 17 percent in March, compared with a year before. That supply would be exhausted in about 4.7 months at the current sales pace. That’s below the 6 months of supply that is typical in a healthy market.

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