By Craig Giammona
U.S. home-price appreciation picked up in December.
A measure of home prices in 20 U.S. cities gained 18.6%, up from 18.3% the previous month, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday. It was a bigger gain than economists expected and came after the growth in home prices had slowed slightly for fourth straight months.
Phoenix reported the biggest year-over-year gain at 32.5%. It was the 31st straight month the Arizona city led the list, according to the data released Tuesday. Tampa, Florida, and Miami posted December gains of 29% and 27%, respectively.
Demand for homes is still strong almost two years after the pandemic hit the U.S. With inventory in short supply, bidding wars are still common across the country, shutting out buyers who are stretching their budgets. Rising mortgage rates, meanwhile, are making it even harder for some buyers to find properties they can afford.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of national property values climbed 18.8%, the same increase as the prior month. The index had declined for three straight months prior to December.
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