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U.S. home prices show strong growth in November

Workers build a home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Home prices are now posting double-digit gains in some of the places where so-called negative equity is severe.
(Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg)

A leading measure of home prices in the biggest American cities posted strong year-over-year growth in November.

The S&P;/Case Shiller 20-city index rose 5.5% from the same month a year earlier, rising in 19 out of the 20 metro areas tracked by the gauge.

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According to the index, from October to November, prices declined 0.1% -- a normal seasonal slowdown. The data are the latest indication that home prices continued to rise through the end of last year as housing inventory dwindled and demand surged.

“Housing is clearly recovering,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P; Dow Jones Indices. “Prices are rising, as are both new and existing home sales.”

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The data indicate that the once hard-hit Sunbelt is resurgent.

In particular, Las Vegas and Phoenix are recovering rapidly. Prices in Las Vegas rose 10.0% over the year, with Phoenix showing a 22.8% increase.

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Miami saw a 9.9% gain while Tampa was up 6.8%. California cities are also on the upswing, with San Diego rising 8%, Los Angeles up 7.7% and San Francisco increasing 12.7%.

The only metro area that declined on a year-over-year basis was New York, down 1.2%, according to the survey.

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