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US home price gains slow in October

Home price increases slowed across the U.S. in October for the third month in a row, as higher mortgage rates made it harder for buyers to afford new homes, a new report said.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. 20-city composite index saw a 5.0% gain in October year over year, down from 5.2% in September, according to a report released Dec. 26. The 10-city composite annual increase was 4.7%, down from 4.9% the previous month, the report said.

The national index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, increased 5.5% year over year in October, the same as it was in September.

On a month-over-month basis, the national index was up 0.5% after it was seasonally adjusted. The 10-city composite showed 0.5% gains, while the 20-city composite increased 0.4%.

"The combination of higher mortgage rates and higher home prices rising faster than incomes and wages means fewer people can afford to buy a house," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Mortgage rates are currently 4.75%, compared to 4% a year ago, he noted.

"Reduced affordability is slowing sales of both new and existing single family homes," Blitzer said, adding that "sales peaked in November 2017 and have drifted down since then."

S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Market Intelligence are separate divisions of S&P Global Inc. This news report was not prepared by S&P Dow Jones Indices.