New Home Sales

U.S. home prices increased at a faster clip in November, the gains fueled by solid hiring growth, historically low mortgage rates and a shortage of houses on the market.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8 percent from a year ago, up from a 5.5 percent pace in October, according to a Tuesday report.

Home values nationwide have nearly recovered from their July 2006 peak, as the real estate market has slowly recovered from the housing bust that triggered the Great Recession. But several metro areas have fully rebounded from the downturn. Four metro areas – Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Portland Oregon – have either matched or eclipsed their all-time highs. And Charlotte, North Carolina is less than 1 percent below its previous high.

Buyers crowded back into the housing market last year. Sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent over the past year to 5.26 million

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