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Home price growth accelerated in July as buyers competed for listings, Case-Shiller index shows

The numbers: Home-price appreciation maintained a fast pace in July as buyers flooded the market only to find few homes for sale, according to a major price barometer released Tuesday.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city price index posted a 3.9% year-over-year gain in July, up from 3.5% the previous month. On a monthly basis, the index increased 0.6% between June and July.

What happened: The separate national index released with the report noted a 4.8% increase in home prices across the U.S. over the past year.

Phoenix once again lead all other markets nationwide with a 9.2% annual price gain in July, followed by Seattle with a 7% increase and Charlotte, N.C., with 6% growth.

“Prices were particularly strong in the Southeast and West regions, and comparatively weak in the Midwest and Northeast,” Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote in the report.

Overall, the pace of price growth increased in 16 of the 19 cities Case-Shiller analyzed — the 20-city list did not include Detroit once again this month because transaction records for Wayne County, Mich. were unavailable, the report noted.

The big picture: The rise in home prices is the reflection of a “perfect storm,” according to
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 deputy chief economist Selma Hepp. “The substantial swing in demand is driven by a need for indoor and outdoor space met by record low mortgage rates and a wave of millennials who were on the verge of buying – all competing for fewer and fewer homes on the market,” Hepp said.

While the Case-Shiller index displays slightly more modest price-growth, other measures of home prices suggest that buyers are paying record amounts for properties across the country. Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency released its monthly home-price index.

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