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S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller: The 20-city home price index rose 2.6% year-to-year in Nov. – an increase from the 2.2% year-to-year recorded in Oct.

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in November than the previous month as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.6% in November from a year ago, up from a 2.2% annual gain in October.

Price increases remain modest: They fell to a seven-year low in July before picking up last fall. The number of homes for sale plummeted 8.5% last year to 1.4 million. That represents a three-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest on records dating to 1982.

And mortgage rates fell to a three-month low last week and are far below their levels of a year ago. That helps make purchasing a home more affordable, even as home prices rise nearly at the same pace as wages.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage declined to 3.6% last week, down sharply from 4.45% a year ago. That partly reflects the impact of the Federal Reserve’s cuts to its short-term interest rate, as well as a lower yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark rate that influences mortgage costs.

Home prices rose the most in November in Phoenix, where they increased 5.9%, followed by Charlotte with 5.2% and Tampa at 5%. All 20 cities reported price gains.

Home values have fully recovered from the housing bust and have moved even higher. The 20-city index is nearly 6% above its 2006 peak, though that figure is not adjusted for inflation.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press, Christopher Rugaber. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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