Home prices rose 10.0% nationwide over the 12 months ended June 30, up from 6.5% in the comparable period a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.In the second quarter alone, prices rose at an annualized rate of 9.8%, Freddie Mac reported in releasing its quarterly Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index. The index showed that, for the fourth quarter in a row, the Pacific states recorded the largest gains in home prices, which rose 17.1% for the 12-month period. The Middle Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania followed with a 12.7% growth rate, and the New England states finished third with a 11.7% rate. "After three years of declining mortgage rates and big jobs gains earlier in the year, housing demand is as strong as we've ever seen it," said Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "The housing market should remain strong for the next several quarters, but may begin to slow from record levels as interest rates start to gradually rise." The index was jointly developed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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