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S&P: Housing prices continue to rise in July

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home PriceNSA Index gained 5.1% from the previous year in July, up from a 5.0% gainlogged in June.

"Both the housing sector and the economy continue toexpand with home prices continuing to rise at about a 5% annual rate,"David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&PDow Jones Indices, said in a release.

"The statement issued last week by the Fed … confirmsthe central bank's view that the economy will see further gains," hecontinued, noting that even though most analysts expect the Fed to raiseinterest rates in December, that would not be a "major negative" forhousing prices as mortgage rates would remain at historically low levels.

According to Blitzer, the index is within 0.6% of the recordhigh set in July 2006, and while this pace is not sustainable over the longterm, because mortgage debt remains 12.6% below the peak seen in 2008,"there is no reason to fear that another massive collapse is around thecorner."

The 10-city composite reported a 4.2% annual increase, downfrom 4.3% the previous month, while the 20-city composite reported a 5.0%year-over-year gain, down from 5.1% in June. Portland, Ore.; Seattle; andDenver reported the highest year-over-year gains, with nine cities overallreporting higher prices for the year ending in July versus the year ending inJune.

On a month-over-month basis, the national index rose 0.4% inJuly, after seasonal adjustment, while the 10-city composite saw a 0.1%decrease, and the 20-city composite remained unchanged. Before seasonaladjustment, all three indexes saw month-over-month increases, with the nationalindex gaining 0.7%, the 10-city composite posting a 0.5% increase and the 20-citycomposite gaining 0.6%.

S&P Dow JonesIndices and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.