Business

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).

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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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