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US home prices edge lower in November

US home prices fell slightly in November, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed Tuesday, in some new evidence that the hot housing market is slowing down.

WASHINGTON: US home prices fell slightly in November, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed Tuesday, in some new evidence that the hot housing market is slowing down.

The Case-Shiller index for 20 leading cities fell for the first time since November 2012, losing 0.1 per cent in the month.

Nine of the 20 cities lost ground, nine saw prices rise and there was no change in two cities.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices in November gained 0.9 per cent.

Year-on-year gains remained strong, rising 13.7 per cent.

But with mortgage interest rates rising, analysts said the strong market of the past two years and the double-digit annual price gains could soon be over.

"Home prices continue to rise despite last May's jump in mortgage interest rates," said David Blitzer of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Even so, he said, "while housing will make further contributions to the economy in 2014, the pace of price gains is likely to slow during the year."

Las Vegas, one of the worst-hit cities in the housing crisis, continued to bounce back with a 0.6 per cent gain in the month, and 27.3 per cent in the year.

Also strong were Miami and San Francisco, where housing price gains driven by booming tech industry salaries have become a political issue.

Other hot markets of the past two years, Washington, New York, Chicago, Portland and Denver, all showed a monthly fall.

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