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Home prices rise in December at fastest pace in a year

In this Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, file photo, a home under construction and for sale is shown in Roswell, Ga. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
In this Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, file photo, a home under construction and for sale is shown in Roswell, Ga. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
By Christopher S. Rugaber Associated Press

WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices rose in December from a year earlier at the fastest pace in 11 months, as prospective buyers bid against each other for a limited supply of available property.

The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.6 percent, the most since January 2016.

The price gain reflects the healthy pace of home sales, which increased in January to the fastest level in a decade. Steady job gains and growing consumer confidence have encouraged more people to take the plunge and look for a home.

Still, mortgage rates have risen since last fall, and with prices also increasing, homes are becoming less affordable. A measure of pending home sales declined in January, a sign that final sales may soon fall as well.

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