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U.S. Home Prices Rose 0.7% in August From July, FHFA Says

U.S. House Prices Gained 0.7% in August From July, FHFA Says
The FHFA’s index has climbed as improving employment, a tight inventory of available homes and record-low borrowing costs help strengthen a real estate recovery. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. house prices rose 0.7 percent in August from July as buyers competed for a dwindling supply of property listings, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.

The average estimate of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 0.4 percent gain. Prices climbed 4.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the FHFA. The previously reported 0.2 percent increase in July was revised downward to a 0.1 percent gain. The agency posted the data on its website late yesterday, a day before its regularly scheduled release date.

The FHFA’s index has climbed as improving employment, a tight inventory of available homes and record-low borrowing costs help strengthen a real estate recovery. A home value index by Zillow Inc. jumped 1.3 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, the biggest gain since 2006, the Seattle-based property-data company reported yesterday.

The FHFA report was inadvertently released early because of a “technical, systems error,” according to Denise Dunckel, senior associate director for congressional affairs and communications. It was scheduled to appear on the agency’s website at 10 a.m. today.

The FHFA data, which is based on single-family houses with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, doesn’t provide a specific price. The median price of an existing single-family home, as measured by the National Association of Realtors, was $188,700 in August, up 10 percent from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Prashant Gopal in New York at pgopal2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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