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Home-Price Gains Slow in Most U.S. Cities

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Home-price gains moderated in most of the U.S. in the second quarter, with appreciation reaching its slowest pace since 2012 as more houses came to the market.

The median price of an existing single-family home rose in 71 percent of the 173 metropolitan areas measured, down from 74 percent in the first quarter, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. Price growth slowed in 107 markets, said Adam DeSanctis, a spokesman for the group.

Price appreciation is moderating as more properties are listed for sale and buyer demand slows. The inventory of previously owned homes for sale rose 6.5 percent in June from a year earlier to 2.3 million, according to the Realtors group. That’s up from a 13-year low of 1.8 million in January 2013.

“We’re entering this next phase of recovery where we shift down a gear to a more sustainable pace,” Paul Diggle, U.S. property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a phone interview before the data were released. “It’s not something to worry about -- it’s something to be welcomed. It means price gains are at a more sustainable footing that is more in line with income growth.”

The median price for an existing single-family house in the three months through June was $212,400, up 4.4 percent from the second quarter of 2013. The median price during the first quarter rose 8.3 percent from a year earlier.

The best-performing area in the second quarter was Salem, Oregon, where the median price jumped 25 percent from a year earlier. Prices climbed about 18 percent in Eugene, Oregon, and Lansing, Michigan.

The area with the biggest decline was Elmira, New York, where prices plunged 30 percent from a year earlier. Following was Bloomington, Illinois, with a 8.8 percent drop.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net Christine Maurus, Andrew Blackman

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