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Home prices gain again in February

Buyers, Realtors and brokers look over a 1920s California Bungalow for sale in Highland Park.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Home prices in the nation’s largest American cities continued their strong gains in February, new data show.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 American cities rose 0.3% over the prior month and was up 9.3% over February 2012. All of the cities covered by the index have risen year-over-year for two consecutive months.

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“Home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P; Dow Jones Indices. “Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in the economy.”

Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Atlanta were the four cities with the highest year-over-year price increases. With heavy investor interest, Atlanta appears now to have recovered from a wave of foreclosures in 2012, while the Western cities have shown particular strength after crashing hard during the bust. New York, Boston and Chicago saw the smallest year-over-year gains last month.

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Phoenix posted particularly strong gains, up 23% over the year. That metro region has emerged as the epicenter of the recovery.

California metro areas also gained over the year. The San Diego area was up 10.2%, San Francisco 18.9% and Los Angeles 14.1%.

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