Residential real-estate prices increased in February by the most since May 2006, showing the U.S. housing market is strengthening.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 9.3 percent from February 2012, more than forecast, after advancing 8.1 percent in the year ended in January, the group said today in New York. The increase exceeded the 9 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Compared with the prior month, prices rose the most since October 20.
urther price gains may help alleviate a lack of housing inventory by encouraging more homeowners to put their properties on the market. At the same time, mortgage rates close to all- time lows and an improving labor market are providing a boost for residential real estate, which is a source of strength for the expansion.