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Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Climbed 5.1% in September

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities continued to climb in September, while a gauge of values nationwide exceeded the pre-recession peak, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday.

The 20-city property values index rose 5.1% from September 2015 (the forecast was 5.2%) after a similar gain in the year through August. The national home-price gauge increased 5.5% from 12 months earlier, to a record 184.8; the previous peak in 2006 was 184.6. On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted 20-city gauge rose 0.4% from prior month after a 0.3% advance.

The pace of appreciation in 20-city property values has been around 5% for two years, with the advance in September pushing the group's national index above the pre-recession peak in 2006 before the housing market collapsed. The recovery in home equity has allowed more Americans to put their properties up for sale and relocate as the labor market improves. A recent surge in mortgage rates, if sustained, is a risk to the market and may cool home-price appreciation.

"The new peak set by the S&P Case-Shiller CoreLogic National index will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery to the hoped-for start of a new advance," David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. "Other housing indicators are also giving positive signals."

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by an 11% advance in Seattle and a 10.9% jump in Portland, Ore. New York had the smallest 12-month increase, a 1.8% rise. After seasonal adjustment, Tampa, Fla., had the biggest month-over-month growth, at 0.9%, followed by Dallas at 0.8%.

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