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US home prices increase 4% in April

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER  -  The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ??" U.S. home prices rose in April for the eighth straight month, even as sales have stumbled, a sign the coronavirus outbreak has had little impact on real estate values.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4% in April, the largest gain since December 2018, up from 3.9% in March.

Home sales have fallen sharply for three straight months to their lowest annual pace in nearly a decade in May. Yet the supply of available houses for sale has also declined, forcing remaining buyers to bid up prices.

"The price trend that was in place pre-pandemic seems so far to be undisturbed, at least at the national level," said Craig Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Industries. "Prices in 12 of the 20 cities in our survey were at an all-time high in April."

Sales of existing homes are likely to pick up in coming months, however. A measure of signed contracts to buy homes soared 44% in May, a record increase. And sales of new homes also rebounded in May.

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