Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed at a faster pace than forecast in the year ended February, a sign the housing industry may be gaining momentum amid low borrowing costs and continued job growth.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5 percent from February 2014, the biggest year-to-year gain since August, after rising 4.5 percent in the year ended in January, the group said today in New York. The median projection of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 4.7 percent year-over-year advance. Nationally, prices rose 4.2 percent.
Higher real estate prices may persuade more homeowners to put their properties on the market, boosting the limited inventory that’s been holding some prospective buyers back. More supply, in addition to continued gains in the labor market and looser lending standards, will be needed to help the housing market accelerate after showing inconsistent progress.