U.S. home prices rose more than expected in March

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A new home is seen under construction while building material supplies are in high demand in Tampa, Florida, U.S., May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

By Evan Sully

(Reuters) – U.S. single-family home prices in 20 key urban markets rose in March from a year earlier by the most in more than seven years, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 13.3% through the 12 months ended in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest annual price increase since December 2013. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 12.3% increase.

On month-to-month basis, the 20-city composite index rose 1.6% from February. Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting a 1.2% increase.

U.S. existing home sales fell for a third straight month in April as an acute shortage of properties drove prices to a record high, data from the National Association of Realtors showed on Friday.

Later on Tuesday, the Commerce Department will report new home sales for April, which are expected to moderate again.

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