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Home prices jump in major metros, modest gains in NM

ahomesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A narrow gauge of U.S. home prices that measures 20 major U.S. cities showed they jumped 12.2 percent in May compared with a year ago, the biggest annual gain since March 2006.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also surged 2.4 percent in May from April. The month-over-month gain nearly matched the 2.6 percent increase in April from March – the highest on record.

All 20 cities showed gains in May from April and compared with a year ago.

Case-Shiller measures no New Mexico cities, but a separate measure showed modest gains in the Albuquerque metro area in May compared to the same month a year earlier.

The average single-family home price rose 2.3 percent in May in the Albuquerque metro from May 2012, according to the latest Home Price Index report from data and analytics company CoreLogic. May’s average price also edged up 0.2 percent from the preceding April.

New Mexico as a whole saw a home price increase of 3.2 percent from a year earlier, well behind the average increase of 12.2 percent nationwide. CoreLogic projected an even bigger jump in price nationwide in June.

Home prices in New Mexico were still down 18.4 percent in May from their peak in May 2007.

The Case-Shiller Index showed prices in Dallas and Denver reached the highest levels on record dating back to 2000. That marks the first time since the housing bust that any city has reached an all-time high.

Home values are rising in many parts of the country as more people are bidding on a scarce supply of houses for sale. Steady price increases, along with stable job gains and historically low mortgage rates, in turn have encouraged more Americans to buy homes.

The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. They are not adjusted for seasonal variations, so the monthly gains reflect more buying activity over the summer.

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