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Market
Home Price Index Inches Up In September
NEW YORK (11/26/13)--Home prices crept up by 0.2% in September, according to the LPS Home Price Index.
 
The index also increased by 8.2% on an annual basis in September, reflecting a 9% increase in home prices. The average unadjusted home price was $231,720.
 
The monthly change represents a months-long cooling of the housing market that is expected to continue. From the start of the year until August, the seasonally adjusted LPS Home Price Index increased by about 0.8% every month. It grew at 0.5% from August to September.
 
A preliminary incomplete data set shows that home prices will increase on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis by 0.4% in October (Economy.com Nov. 25). A key predictor  of pending home sales--tabulated by the National Association of Retailers--forecast Monday a decrease for the fifth consecutive month (Market News Nov. 26). Higher mortgage rates, weak wage growth and low consumer confidence are all weighing down demand, said analysts.
 
Price fluctuations in different states varied little in September, with the biggest drop, at 0.9%, occurring in Connecticut, and the biggest rise, at 0.8%, occurring in Nevada (TheStreet.com Nov. 25).
 
The annual increase in home value was fairly consistent over a range of home prices, with growth marginally stronger in the middle of the distribution.
 
The LPS index comes out every month. It takes into account home prices based on transactions, and adjusts for prices of homes involved in distress sales.


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