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The local housing market continues to gain strength as home prices rose and foreclosure activity plunged in recent months. The value of a home in Greater Boston, seasonally adjusted, increased by a half percent from July to August and 6 percent from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The number of foreclosures initiated statewide in September fell 69 percent from a year ago, said Warren Group.