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Growth in U.S. home prices at 33-month high

Staff Writer |
U.S. home prices rose slightly less than what was anticipated for the month of March, according to new data from the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.

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But the gains were enough to reach a 33-month high, climbing at the strongest rate in nearly three years.

This, as inventory of homes for sale remains "unusually low," the group said.

The national home price index increased 5.8 percent in March, while analysts were expecting home prices to rise by 5.9 percent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

Meanwhile, the widely tracked 20-city home price index rose 5.9 percent from a year ago in March, the most since July 2014.

The latest data released Tuesday shows that home prices continued their impressive rise, across the country, over the past 12 months.

Home prices had hit a record in September, and the pace of growth accelerated ever since then.

Among the 20 cities surveyed for this report, Seattle, Portland and Dallas just reported their highest year-over-year gains.

The smallest gain of 4.1 percent was in New York.

Home prices in New York City have risen 4.1 percent in the past year, still much higher than U.S. average hourly earnings that have increased 2.5 percent over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.