US home prices rise at slowed pace in 15 months, reflecting sluggish sales

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WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices rose in May from a year earlier at the weakest pace in 15 months, as home sales remain modest.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 9.3 per cent in May from 12 months earlier. That’s down from 10.8 per cent in the previous month and the smallest annual gain since February 2013.

Yearly price gains slowed in 18 of the 20 cities. They accelerated in Charlotte, N.C., and were flat in Tampa, Fla.

Existing home sales have picked up, rising to an eight-month high in June. But they are still 2.3 per cent below last year’s level. And an index of signed contracts dipped in June, suggesting sales will cool.

Home sales have been restrained by weak wage gains and tight credit, particularly for first time buyers.

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